Variable, but the common species are 2-3 mm long.
Normally with no preapical bristles on mid and hind femora, wings slightly spread at rest, hind margin of scutum not strongly flattened, first antenna segment without hairs, and wing vein M unbranched and nearly parallel to R4+5.
One of the three commonly encountered subfamilies (along with Dolichopodinae and Sciapodinae).
BugGuide follows the North American catalog(1)
which has six genera, considering Achradocera
but not Lyroneurus
to be distinct from Chrysotus
Achradocera is a species group of Chrysotus currently given generic status. It is recognized by the shape of the male antennae. North American species also have a distinctive color pattern on the legs.
Argyra is normally easy to recognize by the silvery patches, large male antennae, and S-shaped vein M, although there are exceptions.
Asyndetus is recognized by the weak vein M and costa ending at R4+5.
Chrysotus and Diaphorus are ill-defined genera containing most of the species in the subfamily. Species move back and forth between them and identification is difficult. Male Diaphorus normally have long bristles on the tip of the abdomen.
Keirosoma is not represented in the guide.