Closely related to the family Elateridae, specimens of Eucnemidae can reach a length of 2–30 mm (0.079–1.181 in). Bodies are slightly flattened and convex. The upper surfaces of the body usually has hairs, setae or scales.
Adults can usually be found in forests, on branches or under the bark of trees, especially in the abundance of dead wood. The larvae live in dead wood, but also in hard seasoned wood. Some species are soil-dwelling, living and feeding on the roots of dead trees.