Riverfly identification is usually focussed on the larvae. This reflects their usefulness in terms of understanding the local habitat

Identification can be done to different levels, such as family or species. While species level identification can provide the greatest insight, family level information is also incredibly useful.

The guides listed here are well recommended. 

As well as these guides, it is worth checking second hand bookshops and online outlets, as they can be a good source of identification books aimed at the hobbyist or angler.

Please note that older guides will not contain the newest revisions.

Ephemeroptera Guides

The Riverfly Partnership, in collaboration with the Field Studies Council published a pictorial guide to the British Ephemeroptera. This is an easy to use species guide with fantastic images to support identification and is ideal for the beginner.

Macadam, C.R. and Bennett, C.J. (2010). A pictorial guide to the British Ephemeroptera. Field Studies Council, Shrewsbury. 128pp.

The identification of British and Irish Ephemeroptera is covered by two scientific publications by the Freshwater Biological Association (FBA). These taxonomic keys provide the information required to successfully identify most of the British Ephemeroptera. They also provide extensive notes on their life cycles and ecology.

Elliott, J.M. and Humpesch, U.H (1983): A key to the Adults of the British Ephemeroptera with notes on their ecology. Scientific Publications of the Freshwater Biological Association, No. 47, 101pp.

Elliott, J.M. and Humpesch, U.H. (2010): Mayfly larvae (Ephemeroptera) of Britain and Ireland: keys and a review of their biology. Scientific Publications of the Freshwater Biological Association, No. 66, 152pp.

There is also a key to the Ephemeroptera published in the Naturalist Handbook series:

Harker, J. (1989): Mayflies. Naturalists' Handbook, No. 13, 56pp.

Plecoptera Guides

Pryce D, Brooks S & Macadam C 2007 Guide to British Stonefly (Plecoptera) families: adults and larvae Field Studies Council The development of this easy to use, fold out AIDGAP guide, was supported, and is endorsed by, The Riverfly Partnership.

Hynes NBN 1977 A Key to the adults and nymphs of the British Stoneflies (Plecoptera) Scientific publication No.17 3rd ed. Freshwater Biological Association In depth guide to species level identification.

Trichoptera Guides

An introduction to caddis and the identification of larvae with illustrations of various case constructions. The article has been made available by the Amateur Entomologists' Society

A Beginner's Guide to Caddis (Order Trichoptera) by Dr Ian Wallace, published by Bulletin of the Amateur Entomologists' Society Vol 62 February 2003, gives.

The Beginner's Guide to Caddis by Dr Ian Wallace –PDF-File, 623.7 MB

Wallace I 2006 Simple key to caddis larvae Field Studies Council. Development of this guide was supported by teh Riverfly Parnership.

An easy to use guide to Trichoptera families, with images and notes on each family

Barnard P & Ross E 2008 Guide to adult caddisflies (Trichoptera) Field Studies Council Development of this guide was supported by the Riverfly partnership.

Edington JM & Hildrew AG 1995 Caseless caddis larvae of the British Isles Scientific publication 53 pp.134 Freshwater Biological Association Wallace ID

Wallace B & Philipson GN 2003 Keys to the case-bearing caddis larvae of Britain and Ireland Scientific publication 61 pp.259 Freshwater Biological Association