A bee mimic and is approximately 3/8 inch in length. It has
large reddish-brown eyes, clear wings and yellow legs. The thorax is black with wide gray bands. The abdomen is black with bright yellow bands. The antennae are short. The flies in the genus Eristalis are very similar to each other, but the distinguishing characteristics of transversa are the gray color on the front half of the thorax and the bright yellow scutellum.
The larvae of the genus are known as “rat-tailed maggots” for the long breathing tube they can extend to the surface of the water. The larvae live in polluted water or wet carcasses.