Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Expert Profile

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Eric R. Eaton


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I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. 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, Birds & Blooms, 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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Keith11/12/16101010Thank you for your quick response.

Recent Answers from Eric R. Eaton

2017-01-14 Bed bug?:

Hi, Zach:    Thank you for including the image with your question, though I cannot resolve enough detail to reach a positive conclusion.    Given that you mentioned blood was involved, I cannot rule out

2017-01-01 Bug identify:

Annie:    Thank you for including the images with your question.    The objects are the shed exoskeletons of mayflies, order Ephemeroptera.  Mayflies are the only insects that molt (shed their exoskeletons)

2016-12-13 Very small tiny insect:

Nora:    I am almost positive these are "springtails," in which case they are totally harmless; and the chemical treatments you are using are probably more harmful than the little critters.  Here is a

2016-11-29 Bug identification:

Candy:    The insect in the image is a nymph (immature, juvenile, "baby") assassin bug in the genus Rasahus.  They are known as "corsairs."  They only assassinate other insects, but can deliver

2016-11-19 spider identification:

Nice:    I am not at all familiar with spiders of Asia, I'm sorry.    I can tell you that both of these are orb weavers in the family Araneidae; at least the second one.  The longer-bodied one may be in


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