A medium-sized species with red and black gaster; the female with bifasciate wings. Males are easy to identify by the characteristic genital plate. However, females can be very difficult to identify and the advice of Day (1988), that some individuals cannot be placed to species, should be heeded.
South-east and central England with a few scattered records further north to Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. Not recorded from the Channel Islands.
It occurs in northern and central Europe (Wolf, 1972). France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Belarus and Finland (Wahis, 2011).