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Dr Ian Wallace

Ian Wallace
Dr Ian Wallace

BSc & PhD University of Newcastle upon Tyne

My passion is the UK Caddis (Trichoptera). I remember collecting my first larvae as a PhD student in September 1970 and I am still collecting and recording their distribution 45 years later. I produced keys to identify their larvae at genus, then family level and finally tackled the cased caddis as a group. My current collecting for taxonomic purposes are the caseless species, in particular the very young larvae which can be so problematical when taken through some keys. The aim is a new FBA key to Caseless Caddis Larvae.

Being aware that comprehensive identification keys do not attract enthusiastic beginners I wrote a key for hand-lens, rather than microsope, users. I was one of the early experts on Riverfly courses and am keen to see a progression available from identification as “a cased caddis” to family to genus to species. I develop training materials for various levels of expertise from naturalists at popular “Bioblitz” events to specialist FBA caddis courses for statutory agency and consultant biologists.

The distribution of the UK caddis is the other strand of my activities. The Biological Records Centre Caddis Recording Scheme had a few thousand records in 1980 but 35 years later has half a million. Most come from the Statutory Agencies, EA, NRW, SEPA, but 44,000 are Wallace records and I have abstracted thousands more from the literature or museums. These records form the backbone of the distribution maps on the ‘Gateway’ web-site and underpin the conservation of the rarest caddis and their sites. It is planned to bring the current data acquisition to a close at the end of 2015 and produce a classic distribution atlas.

My paid job was as a general invertebrate zoologist in a large provincial (but nationally funded) museum and this developed my passion for engaging with people at all academic levels. Although appointed as an Honorary Research Fellow a few years ago it is only since my full retirement last year that I am able to devote a lot of time to bringing more of my caddis study to fruition.

I am looking forward to using my varied knowledge and experience to support the FBA as it develops over the next few years.


1970 - 1974 Research Associate, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
1974 - 2014 Curator of Invertebrate Zoology, Liverpool Museum

Major caddis publications

1990. (2nd edition 2003) (with B. Wallace & G.N. Philipson) Keys to the Case-bearing caddis larvae of Britain and Ireland. Scientific Publications of the Freshwater Biological Association 61: 259 pages.

1991. A review of the Trichoptera of Great Britain, Research and Survey in Nature Conservation 32: 59 pages. 2006. Simple key to caddis larvae. Field Studies Council, Shrewsbury, 59 pages.

2006. Simple key to caddis larvae. Field Studies Council, Shrewsbury, 59 pages.

2011. [on Hagenella clathrata] Click for more

[on Ironoquia dubia] Click for more 

[on Glossosoma intermedium] Click for more

[on Hydropsyche bulgaromanorum] Click for more

Major planned publications

A review of the scarce and threatened caddis (Trichoptera) of Great Britain

Keys to the caseless caddis of Great Britain and Ireland (with A. G. Hildrew)

Distribution Atlas of the Trichoptera of Britain and Ireland (with J.P. O’Connor)

Keys to the China Mark Moth caterpillars of Britain and Ireland


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