Anthomyzidae are small, slender, yellow to black flies with narrow and elongate wings, which may have distinct markings. Some species have greatly reduced wings. Fewer than 100 species are known, mostly from Europe. Although they occur in all major regions, they seem to be most varied in the Holarctic Region
Around 20 diverse genera have been placed in the family. Two, Teratomyza and Teratoptera are now in Teratomyzidae, and Cyamops and Stenomicra are in Stenomicridae. Melanthomyza Malloch from Chile should probably not be retained in the family. The remaining genera are very similar to one another.
Minute to small (1.3mm.-4.5 mm), slender flies. They are yellow (sometimes with dark spots or stripes) to black in colour. The postverticals on the head are small, convergent or parallel and rarely absent. There are 2-3 pairs of frontal bristles, which curve backward present and usually preceded by 1 or more weaker bristles.Interfrontal bristles are absent or present.Peristomal bristles ("false vibrissae") present.In the more common Anthomyza and Paranthomyza the lower side of femur 1 has a well developed spine in apical third. Wings usually long and narrow and immaculate (sometimes marked.Some species are brachypterous).Costa with a subcostal break and subcosta incomplete.
Anthomyza sp. ovipositing on an old (empty) head of grass
Larvae have been reported from decaying dicotyledonous plants, and from fungi and, in Europe, from leaf sheaths of various grasses and of Typha, Scirpus and Juncus, from Lipara galls on Phragmites, It is possible that they may be either phytophagous or saprophagous, but there seem to be no reports of damage to cereals or other plants.
Adults of are usually found in moist habitats such as damp meadows, marshes, bogs and damp deciduous or mixed forests with rich undergrowth. Some species inhabit dry grasslands (some species of Anthomyza and the brachypterous Stiphrosoma sabulosum (Haliday)).
Przemysław Trojan, 1962 Odiniidae, Clusiidae, Anthomyzidae, Opomyzidae, Tethinidae in (series) Klucze do oznaczania owadów Polski, 28,54/58; Muchowki = Diptera, 54/58 Publisher Warszawa : Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe (in Polish)
Jindřich Roháček, 1996. Revision of Palaearctic Stiphrosoma, including the Anthomyza-laeta group (Diptera, Anthomyzidae). Eur. J. Entomol. 93:89-120, ISSN 1210-5759 European Journal of Entomology
Jindřich Roháček, 1998. Taxonomic limits, phylogeny and higher classification of Anthomyzidae (Diptera), with special regard to fossil record. Eur. J. Entomol. 95:141-177, ISSN 1210-5759 European Journal of Entomology
Jindřich Roháček, 2006. A monograph of Palaearctic Anthomyzidae (Diptera), Part 1.published as supplement 1 of the Časopis Slezského zemského muzea, Vol. 55 (2006) 326 pages, 661 black-and-white illustrations. ISSN 1211-3026, ISBN 80-86224-57-0
Jindřich Roháček, 2007. Zealantha thorpei gen. et sp. nov. (Diptera: Anthomyzidae), first family representative from New Zealand. Zootaxa 1576: 1–13 Zootaxa