The adult is recognized by the distinctive wing pattern, shiny blackish-brown with slight overtones of yellow in a few places on a hyaline background. Average length of wing is 6 mm and average body length from head to tip of abdomen excluding the ovipositor is 7 mm. Head and thorax are light brown; abdomen black; legs light brown to yellowish-brown. Moves around like it's "dancing" with it's wings opening and closing.
One of the most common and attractive flies found in North America, is reported to occur from Maine westward to Minnesota and southward to Kansas and Florida. Larvae of this fly feed on accumulations of badly decayed vegetation lying on the surface of the ground or partially buried in the soil, on rotting fruit, and on other kinds of decomposing vegetation, including bulbs of commercial onions and wild garlic. In northeastern Ohio, adults were found most commonly on herbaceous vegetation near garbage dumps and refuse heaps. A few were taken in deciduous woodlands and at the edges of wooded swamps.