Key traits for the Micropezid flies include long slender legs, and slender wings. In the Nearctic species the head is "more or less globular," and in the subfamily Micropezinae the head is pointed forward. Vibrissae and ocellar bristles are lacking. The scutellum is small, and there is one pair of scutellar bristles (Steyskal, in McAlpine, 1987).
Many members of this family mimic wasps or ants. Larvae often develop in decaying leaves or other rotting plant material. The pupa is made from the final larval skin, and so the pupa resembles the last larval instar.
Oldroyd (1964) reported that Stilt-legged flies "prey on other insects, aphids and small flies, which they stalk through the vegetation."
While more than 500 species have been described worldwide, in the Nearctic there are only 27 recorded species.
Insects of West Virginia
Other Micropezid photos by Stephen Cresswell: