A small and slender species of hoverfly where its markings can be fairly variable depending on the temperature the larvae develop in. Spring generations tend to be darker, whilst later generations are lighter and more well-defined. The yellow elliptical markings on tergite 2 help to distinguish the species from those similar. They can grow up to 9.5mm long.
The adults feed on nectar. The larvae feed on aphids off shrubs and trees.
Seen February to December. Found in wooded areas. Frequent and widespread in the south and the Midlands, scarcer elsewhere.
Photographs of Meliscaeva auricollis taken May and June 2014, front and rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2014. Camera used Nikon D3200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.