Adults are 38-63 mm long, and the body is brown or grayish brown. Larvae inhabit small streams and rivers, where they feed on plant material. Adults emerge at night from June through August; they do not feed.

Giant stonefly, Pteronarcys dorsata Adult wing span is 70-106 mm, and the body is yellowish brown. Adults are nocturnal and often fly to lights at night. This species is found in northeastern USA.

The salmonfly, Pteronarcys californica The adult male is 31-40 mm long, and wing span is 58-66 mm; the female is 40-46 mm long, with a wing span of 72-84 mm. The body is brownish gray, and the head is blackish brown with a tooth on the head plate above base of antennae; the prothorax has a dorsal red midline. The salmonfly is found in fast-flowing streams in western USA. Adults come to lights at night.

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