By morphological characters, the adults can be separated from the other scarabs by the combination of the following characters: epipleuron easily recognizable, border lateral of elytra sinuate and antennal insertion visible from above. Six tribes are normally recognized: Stenotarsiini, Schizorhinini, Gymnetini, Goliathini, Cetoniini, and Cremastocheilini, the last four are also found in the New World. The tribe Gymnetini is the biggest of the American tribes, and Goliathini is only found in southern North America.
The group is in an urgent need of revision. Many of the taxa are poorly defined, based sometimes only in geographical distribution.