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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Average Ratings

Recent Reviews from Users

Read More Comments

    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
Kathleen04/22/15101010Eric, thank you so much. I really .....
JAVIER04/20/15101010Answered within a few hours with link .....
Sheila04/19/15101010Very fast answer.
Thomas04/15/15101010Thank you Eric, I will let the .....
Angela04/10/15101010Thank you so much, Eric. Wow after .....

Recent Answers from Eric R. Eaton

2015-04-24 Can you please help to identify?:

Clo:    Did you read my blog post?  It tells what carpet beetles eat, and it is *not* carpet.    I can't easily explain why I could tell it wasn't a bed bug, but here is my post on bed bugs:    http://bugeric

2015-04-24 Can you please help to identify?:

Clo:    Thanks for including the image, however vague.  It is clear enough to determine it is not a bed bug, which is what I think you might have feared.    This is an adult carpet beetle in the genus

2015-04-22 mystery bug:

Hi, Kathleen:    That is an outstanding description.  So evocative, in fact, that I knew what you were talking about even before I saw your images.    The insect is the larva of a dobsonfly, <i>Corydalus

2015-04-19 I.D. Spider:

Hi, Javier:    Believe it or not, this spider is called a "flattie," in the genus Selenops, family Selenopidae.  I wrote a blog post about them awhile back:    http://bugeric.blogspot.com/2013/03/spider-sunday-flatties

2015-04-18 wasp identification:

Hi, Sheila:    Wow, those are really nice images, thank you for sharing.    You are correct, they are members of the Vespidae family.  Specifically, they are mason wasps in the subfamily Eumeninae.  They


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