All species have very long, fragile legs. The male has a swollen tip to his abdomen, and the female has a pointed ovipositor which is used to push eggs into soil. The larvae of some species are root-feeding and may be called "leatherjackets".
Technical description: Discal cell present ; M3 arises from M4 ; all tibiae spurred Antennae with whorls of long hairs. Rs usually long ; Sc ends far from base of Rs ; cell 4 always petiolate ; body colour usually grey, brown or dull yellow, rarely black ; praescutal stripes (when present) usually dull, rarely slightly shining