These flies are separated from the Ragionidae by the lack of apical setae or spurs on the front tibiae, and a rounded antennal segment 3. The wings ofmost species are banded, such as in Spaniopsis, while the wings of rhagionids (Symphoromyia spp.) are not, but may have dark spots at the front margin. Three genera contain species that suck blood: Atherix and Suragina in North America, Europe, and Japan; Suragina in Asia and South America; and Spaniopsis in Mexico and Australia. The immature stages are aquatic and breeding sites are usually small streams in undisturbed areas. Adult Atherix are gregarious and occur in large numbers to lay eggs in masses on the branches and leaves of trees overhanging streams. Atherix species have been recorded biting people in Japan.

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