Generally small, mostly orange or brown butterflies with short fat bodies, hooked antennae and rapid, skipping flight. Some species (chiefly Spreadwing Skippers, subfamily Pyrginae
) hold their wings in a single flat plane, many others hold hind wings flat and forewings at an angle. A few small species (collectively often called "Skipperlings") do not have the antennae hooked at the tip, but otherwise look like typical Grass Skippers.
Caterpillars have a large head, easily distinguished from most other caterpillars by a constriction at the back. Individual caterpillars create shelters for themselves by folding over a piece of leaf or tying a couple of leaves together, and are not generally seen out in the open.
Some place this family in the superfamily Hesperioidea, rather than Papilionoidea.