Length: typically 6-8 mm
Both the genus and species names refer to "nose" and this is indeed a "large-nosed" Syrphid fly. This trait is most remarkably seen in a lateral view.
We have photographed this species flying in West Virginia as early as April 21, when there were few flowers open for it to visit. We have also photographed adults in July and in September.
The range of Rhingia nasica extends from Manitoba to New Brunswick, then south to Colorado and Georgia. A map showing the states and provinces reporting this species is below.
Professors and students at Williams College have studied this species as it visits Yellow Jewelweed (Impatiens pallida). They have found that Rhingia nasica is a "thief," taking both nectar and pollen, but failing to provide the flower with pollination services because the respective parts of flower and fly do not quite line up.
A note about our maps
Insects of West Virginia