Snipe flies are 6-9 mm long and brown to dull gray; the wings are opaque and usually with dark spots or bands. The head is somewhat rounded; the antennae are distinctly three-segmented and with segment 3 somewhat kidney-shaped and with a subterminal, slender arista. The abdomen is relatively long and tapering, and the legs are long. These flies are common in wet and wooded areas; some species are aquatic, and some live in decaying vegetation where they are predaceous on other insects. Adult males and females have mouthparts similar to tabanids and can inflict a painful bite. Symphoromyia species are blood-suckers and will bite humans; they are generally associated with wooded and undisturbed areas, and urban populations are notcommon. This large genus occurs inNorth America and Europe.

Symphoromyia atripes Adults are 5-8 mm long and with a gray-black body and reddish-brown legs. Adults occur in sunny areas where they readily attack humans; they have a painful bite. This species has a widespread distribution in western North America, from Alaska and British Columbia to Colorado and California.

Other Symphoromyia Several species are common in wooded areas, and may occur in suburban habitats. S. kincaidi females are about 6 mm long, dull black, and with a reddish brown head. This species bites humans and has a distribution similar to S. atripes.

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