Body elongate; cyst stage without legs, occurring in cracks on trunk or under bark; often brightly colored; adult females produce a white waxy ovisac that covers the body; males and females of some species appear on the bark in the fall.
Taxa in this family are relatively uniform in morphology, except for the African species K. oligostigma DeLotto. It lacks abdominal spiracles and the clubbed setae at the distal end of the tibia, but it has other characteristics of the family. Kuwaniidae MacGillvray was first used as a family by Koteja (1974).
Kuwaniids occur in the Afrotropical region, Palaearctic region, Oriental region, and Nearctic region. They are most speciose in the Palaearctic region.
Kuwaniids occur on trees and are most common on oaks (Quercus Fagaceae). There also are single species on Pasania (Fagaceae), Commiphora (Burseraceae), Antidesma (Euphorbiaceae), and Zizyphus (Rhamnaceae). Neosteingelia is found on forest trees such as pecans and hickories.
Little is known about the life history of kuwaniids. We suspect that there are 4 instars in the female including the crawler, 2 cyst stages, and the adult. Males are unknown. Goux 1938c suggested that there was a single generation each year in Kuwania rubra Goux. Neosteingelia probably has 3 instars in the female and 5 in the male. Crawlers settle in cracks or under the bark; second-instarcysts develop under the bark; and adult males and females wander on the trunks of the host seeking mates in the fall of the year; adult females produce a filamentous ovisac in cracks of the bark. A generation may require more than 1 year for completion.