Very long middle and hind legs. Front legs are usually shorter. Although the head is small, the thorax, wings and abdomen are also very long. Overall size in Ontario of 6 to 10 mm long.
Mimic ants and wasps by waving their front legs like antenna. The front legs are also used in mating rituals.
Larvae are found in rotting vegetation, fruit and fungi, dung and under dead tree bark.
Dr. Stephen A. Marshall, professor and Collection Director of University of Guelph, in Ontario is a specialist in this group. Three species of Stilt-legged flies in Ontario.
Compsobata univitta – Reddish-brown thorax with unmarked wings. No white on front feet.
Rainieria antennaepes – Slate gray sheen on thorax, dark pattern on wings obscure. White on front feet long – covering 2 segments.
Taeniaptera trivittata – Dark brown on thorax, wing pattern dark with narrow white stripe. White on front feet short – covering 1 segment.