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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Recent Reviews from Users

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
Jeannie10/19/14101010Thank you soooo much for your very .....
Lance A Schart10/18/14101010Thanks. It's what I suspected, but appreciate .....
Linda 10/18/14101010I am so thrilled that you were .....
Genesis10/16/14101010Wow thanks so much for your very .....
Leslie10/14/14101010I appreciate Eric telling me where I .....

Recent Answers from Eric R. Eaton

2014-10-21 What is this insect?!:

Hi, Jennifer:    Thank you for including the image with your question.    These are "camel crickets," and they are indeed related to grasshoppers, true crickets, and katydids, all in the order Orthoptera

2014-10-19 Found a huge insect in my bedroom:

Jeannie:    Thank you for including the images with your question.  Please relax now.    The insect is a Western Conifer Seed Bug, Leptoglossus occidentalis.  Despite the name, it is found throughout

2014-10-18 unknown tiny insects:

Soomy:    Thank you for including the images with your question.    It looks like these are what we here in the U.S.A. call "barklice," in the insect order Psocodea.    They feed mostly on molds, mildews

2014-10-17 Flying bug in Eastern Panhandle of WV:

Kelly:    Thank you for including the very nice image with your question.  Leaves no doubt what the creature is.    This is a "Wheel Bug," Arilus cristatus.  Here's my blog post with more information:


Hi, Genesis:    Thank you for including the image with your question.  It is NOT, repeat NOT, a bed bug.    The insect is either a "Drugstore Beetle" or a "Cigarette Beetle."  Here's more:    http://bugguide


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