Snipe flies have a hemispherical head, somewhat long legs, and a conical abdomen. While not bristly, they are often partly covered with a light-colored pubescence. The eyes of females are separated widely, but the eyes of males touch or nearly do. Spurs are present on the middle tibiae and sometimes the hind tibiae, but lacking on the front pair. The calypter is small or even vestigial.
The larvae feed on tiny invertebrates, and possibly plant material as well, developing in rotting wood or herbaceous plants, in mud, or in moss.
Snipe flies are closely related to Horse and Deer Flies. Fortunately for easterners Snipe flies do not bite, but some species in western North America do have a taste for human blood.
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