There are 43 genera and more than 400 species in this subfamily of Syrphidae. The Microdontinae are myrmecophilous, meaning they live in the nests of ants, with the known larvae being obligate predators of ant broods and are only found in ant nests (Cheng & Thompson 2008; Pérez-Lachaud et al. 2014; Reemer 2013; Reemer & Ståhls 2013). And, in contrast to other syrphid larvae, they have no readily apparent body segmentation. Some species also do not exhibit the typical adult flower-visiting behaviour of other hoverflies, but instead remain near their larval host colonies (some of these species have no functional mouthparts and cannot feed as adults)
- Cheng, X.Y., Thompson, F.C. 2008. A generic conspectus of the Microdontinae (Diptera: Syrphidae) with the description of two new genera from Africa and China. Zootaxa, 1879: 21–48.
- Pérez-Lachaud, G., Jervis, M.A., Reemer, M., Lachaud, J.P. 2014. An unusual, but not unexpected, evolutionary step taken by syrphid flies: The first record of true primary parasitoidism of ants by Microdontinae. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 111: 462–472.
- Reemer, M. 2013. Review and Phylogenetic Evaluation of Associations between Microdontinae (Diptera: Syrphidae) and Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Psyche: A Journal of Entomology, 2013: 1–9.
- Reemer, M., Ståhls, G. 2013. Phylogenetic relationships of Microdontinae (Diptera: Syrphidae) based on molecular and morphological characters. Systematic Entomology, 38: 661–688.