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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Average Ratings

Recent Reviews from Users

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
Emma Fliehman 05/26/16101010Thank you so much for the quick .....
Rich05/20/16101010Thank you Eric- both your answer and .....
Patty05/02/16101010Thank you so very much!
Hayley 04/26/16101010 
athena04/26/16101010Very polite! Went into great detail to .....

Recent Answers from Eric R. Eaton

2016-05-28 Transferring a bee hive:

Bill:    I'm sorry, but apiculture is not my thing....However, I'd advise cutting and pasting your question and putting it to the Beekeeping category in AllExperts.com.  Look under "Hobbies," then "Pastimes

2016-05-27 spider ID:

Hi, Kennin:    The image shows a jumping spider in the genus Phidippus.  You have several species in your area, all of them native.  This one looks dead. :-(    Jumping spiders are not considered

2016-05-25 Assassin Bug?:

Hi, Emma:    The insect in your images is a type of leaf-footed bug in the family Coreidae.  Specifically, it is likely Acanthocephala terminalis.  Here's more about it:    http://bugguide.net/node/view/16391

2016-05-24 Maybe Juvinille Black Widow?:

Dahlia:    Actually, from what I can make out in the image (next time crop it as close to the subject as possible), it appears to be an *adult male* black widow.  Up there in CT you have both the Northern

2016-05-20 bug ID:

Lisa:    Thank you for sharing your discovery.  The image is of a "giant ichneumon wasp," Megarhyssa atrata.  Here's more about it:    http://bugguide.net/node/view/6324    Here is a blog post I


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