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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Average Ratings

Recent Reviews from Users

Read More Comments

    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
Lori09/16/14101010Thank you very much for your response! .....
Lisa09/13/14101010thank you!!
Glenn09/09/14101010Thanks so much Eric. Hope all is .....
Jill09/06/141010Thank you for your help.

Recent Answers from Eric R. Eaton

2014-09-18 Same spider someone else asked about!:

Helen:    Thanks for including the image with your question, because your spider is *not* the same as the one in the earlier query....    Your spider is one of the "spotted orbweavers" in the genus Neoscona

2014-09-17 help with ID:

Joanie:    Thank you for the additional information.  I suspect they are probably all sisters that never dispersed very far from the egg sac their mother laid *last* fall....    I'm under contract to write

2014-09-17 Strange bug at cape cod national seashore:

Stephen:    It is not an insect, but a crustacean called a "rock slater."  See here:    http://bugguide.net/node/view/32433    I am not an expert on marine invertebrates so you will need to seek additional

2014-09-16 help with ID:

Hi, Joanie:    Thank you for including the images, which are plenty good in the quality department....    The spiders are "Shamrock Orbweavers," Araneus trifolium, and all are female (mature males

2014-09-09 HELP! Tiny Bathroom Bug!:

Ashton:    I'm sorry, but the images don't offer near enough detail to give me any help in making an identification.    I would take intact specimens to an entomologist at a university (Penn State would


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