Fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) with more than 5,000 described species in six subfamilies, is one of the largest insect families, and is among the ten largest families of the order Diptera. They are more diverse in the Oriental region with India harbouring 284 species in five subfamilies. Though they are commonly perceived to be frugivorous, they do exhibit diverse feeding habits as leaf miners, gall formers, saprophytes, flower head feeders, etc. Of the six subfamilies, Dacinae and Trypetinae are well studied owing to their economic importance as invasive pests of quarantine concern across the world. Immature taxonomy of Tephritidae is still in its infancy as III instar larvae of only 100 species has been studied so far. Even though phylogeny based on morphology could not resolve higher level classification of Tephritidae; deployment of molecular markers by various workers could elucidate the phylogenetic relationships between various genera of several tribes including Dacini. Taxonomy, diagnostic keys for various taxa, biology/habit, phylogeny, host plants, etc. of Tephritidae is dealt with.