Their typical shape is a long tapering body although there are some species that are fatter and rounder. Some species mimic wasps or bees and will be more colourful but mostly they are grey, brown or black. Generally the thorax is short and squat with bristles over it.
They have strong spiny legs with a pair of claws on each one for catching other, sometimes quite large, insects.
The larvae live in the soil and are a pale yellow, quite small and grub-like.
Adult size: 1.7mm - 75mm