These hoverflies typically measure eight millimetres in length. They have black bodies with dazzling, day-glow yellow markings and an unusual pair of yellow stripes running front to back along the sides of the thorax. It is an unmistakeable species.
This is a widespread and locally common species of hoverfly in southern Britain.
The larvae feed on aphids within the nests of ants such as the Black Garden Ant and the Yellow Meadow Ant.