Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Expert Profile

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Eric R. Eaton


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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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Serenity 03/03/15101010Thanks so much. Good to know they're .....
Serenity 03/03/15101010Thanks for your quick response!
Nick02/27/15101010Great info exactly what I was looking .....
Jessica 02/26/15101010 was very impressed with Eric Eaton! .....
Leslie02/21/15101010Mr. Eaton responded very quickly and added .....

Recent Answers from Eric R. Eaton

2015-03-03 insect identification please:

Serenity:    Ok, at least one of your images shows something that is *not* an insect:  a terrestrial arthropod known as a "woodlouse," aka "sowbug."    Here's more about them:    http://bugguide.net/node/view/15976

2015-03-02 what is this insect?:

Hi, Jim:    Your description is a perfect fit for "king" and "queen" termites, looking for a place to set up house.    Unless you have witnessed a swarm *indoors*, I would not be overly concerned with

2015-02-27 Insect in my house:

Nick:    Thanks for including the images with your question.  This is an adult carpet beetle, genus Anthrenus.  Here's more, from a blog post I wrote:    http://bugeric.blogspot.com/2014/10/carpet-beetles-genus-anthrenus

2015-02-26 Bug?:

Hi, Jessie:    Thanks for including the nice image with your question.  This is an adult "carpet beetle" in the genus Anthrenus.  With your permission, I'd like to use this image in a blog post

2015-02-24 egg sack:

Heather:    They should be fine, as the eggs are encased in a foam-like substance that the female secretes to insulate the eggs from just these kinds of conditions.    That said, the supplier should have


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