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
Jen06/25/16101010Thank u for your time & help!! .....
Sarah06/24/16101010Thank you for your quick and thorough .....
Jennifer 06/24/16101010 
chris richter06/22/16101010thanks. you sure can use my pictures .....
Timnah Dockery06/22/16101010Super, super fast response! Excellent experience, thanks .....

Recent Answers from Eric R. Eaton

2016-06-24 Please identify this bug:

Hi, Jen:    Unfortunately, those are nymphs (immatures, juveniles, "babies") of some kind of cockroach.  Without thoroughly searching your home, I cannot tell you whether these are a domestic pest species

2016-06-24 Spider identification:

Hi, Sarah:    Thank you for including the image with your question.    The creature is an arachnid called a "solifuge," aka "camel spider," "windscorpion," or "sun spider."  They are non-venomous but aggressively

2016-06-23 Unknown bug....:

Hi, Jennifer:    Thanks for including the nice image.    The insect is a longhorned beetle known as the "Red-headed Ash Borer," Neoclytus acuminatus.  Here's more about it:    http://bugguide.net/node/view/6769

2016-06-22 wood boring bug:

Hi, Chris:    Thank you for sharing these very interesting images.    Your creatures are larvae and at least one pupa (the first image) of the "Pigeon Horntail" wasp, Tremex columba.  Here is a

2016-06-22 Mystery Bug:

Hi, Ann:    Thank you for including the nice images.    The insect is a nymph (immature, juvenile, "baby") Wheel Bug, a type of assassin bug in the family Reduviidae.  You might recognize the adult form:


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