The species was first described by Hope in 1840, originally as Oestrus rhinocerontis.
Species name synonyms are:
The genus name, Gyrostigma was given by Brauer (1885) when he described Gyrostigma sumatrensis.
The larvae of Gyrostigma rhinocerontis vary in colour from dirty-white through pink to yellow, darkening as they age, with mature larvae having irregular dark brown markings.
All larvae have 12 segments and the third to eleventh segments of the mature third instar possess bands with 3–4 rows of impressive spines.
The 3 slits in the posterior breathing spiracles of the third instar larva are long and tortuous, distinguishing them from larvae of the other 2 species of Gyrostigma, which have less tortuous slits.
Male and female adults have a very similar morphology, with:
The adults resemble large spider wasps (Pompilidae; Hymenoptera) and have a noisy flight.
There are 2 other species in the genus, Gyrostigma conjungens (Africa) and Gyrostigma sumatrensis (Sumatra). Both are extremely rare if not extinct, and: