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

Read More Comments

    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
Darshana09/22/16101010Thanks so much!
Tim09/09/16101010Thanks so much! Very quick and helpful .....
Joseph09/02/16101010 Wow, you are correct sir ! .....
Lisa08/29/16101010Thank you! Prompt response and thoughtful, useful .....

Recent Answers from Eric R. Eaton

2016-09-22 Insect identification:

Hi, Darshana:    The insect in your images is a mayfly, an insect in the order Ephemeroptera.    Adult mayflies live only one or two days, just long enough to reproduce.  Females lay their eggs in water

2016-09-13 2 bugs I need to identify:

Kelly:    Bug 1 appears to be a "four beetle" in the genus Tribolium.  You should check your pantry for infested products.    http://www.the-piedpiper.co.uk/th7a.htm    http://keys.lucidcentral

2016-09-13 Bug found on wall:

Tim:    Thank you for including the image, but unfortunately I cannot tell exactly what it is.  It could still be a bed bug nymph (juvenile, immature, "baby"), but I cannot be sure.  Here is my bed bug

2016-09-11 Bug identification:

Hi, Samantha:    Thank you for including the images.    Your insect is NOT a bed bug, but some kind of grain-infesting beetle, likely in the family Silvanidae:    http://bugguide.net/node/view/13072  

2016-09-10 Indentify insect:

Claudia:    The objects in your image are lint or other debris, not insects.    I state explicitly in my instructions to questioners:  No "what bit me?" questions.  Unless you actually see something biting


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