Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Expert Profile

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I can answer most questions related to the identification of "mystery bugs" in NORTH AMERICA, including spiders. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. No technical questions about insect physiology.

Experience in the area

Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.


Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.


Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors

One of the top 50 experts in all categories for AllExperts.com, 2009.

Past/Present Clients

Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

What do you like about this subject?

Insects and related creatures are so diverse that it is impossible to become bored learning about them; and there is a great deal left to be discovered about them.

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

I am a writer/illustrator, and hope to publish more books and articles on natural history, especially insects and spiders.

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

You share over 20% of your DNA with common "fruit flies," genus Drosophila. You like bananas?:-)

Something controversial or provocative about this subject

Chemical insecticides do more harm than good in most cases. Returning agriculture to a smaller scale (largely doing away with agri-BUSINESS), would solve many pest problems without chemicals.

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Average Ratings

Recent Reviews from Users

Read More Comments

    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
Marcus10/31/14101010I have heard that they were good .....
Kristin Dahlen Ellis 10/28/14101010Thanks for your reply Eric :) Good .....
Robin10/25/14101010Ok, well, thanks for trying. Next time .....
Jeannie10/19/14101010Thank you soooo much for your very .....
Lance A Schart10/18/14101010Thanks. It's what I suspected, but appreciate .....

Recent Answers from Eric R. Eaton

2014-10-30 Predatory insect:

Marlin:    Without seeing at least an image of the creature, I can only hazard a guess:    Praying mantis (yes, they can fly, at least the males)    Antlion (see my blog post here:  http://bugeric.blogspot

2014-10-28 Bright, almost glowing(radiant), curious, hornet/bee like unknown flying bug:

Marcus:    It would certainly help to have an image of the insect, but I strongly suspect you are talking about a "hover fly," specifically this one:    http://bugeric.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-news-bee

2014-10-28 palm size spider looking with too many legs:

Laura:    Well, then, I can be of no further help without an image of said creature.  I'm sorry, but you have to understand that, to an entomologist or arachnologist, your description is completely vague

2014-10-28 palm size spider looking with too many legs:

Laura:    Without seeing a specimen, or even an image, the best I can do is guess, and not very well at that.    My only suspect, given your description, is a tailless whipscorpion:    http://bugguide

2014-10-27 Pigeon Tremex Horntail:

Kristin!    So nice to hear from you!  Yes, this is indeed a Pigeon Tremex female.  Wonderful image.  Wish I could have borrowed it from the blog post I did awhile back:    http://bugeric.blogspot.com/2012/09/wasp-wednesday-pigeon-tremex-horntail


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