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, 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

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
Lany10/11/15101010Thank you. I appreciate you sending me .....
Karan10/09/15101010He answered my question in less than .....
Little Miss Muffet10/02/15101010Excellent website! Extremely fast response (less tgan .....
Greg09/28/15101010Thanks for the info Eric. I knew .....

Recent Answers from Eric R. Eaton

2015-10-12 Spider Identification Please:

Hi, Chasity:    Both images are of the same spider? The top (dark?) image is of a male wolf spider, family Lycosidae.  The bottom image reminds me more of a grass spider, family Agelenidae.    Neither

2015-10-09 Please help me identify this insect:

Hi, Karan:    Thanks for sharing these images.  I am quite envious since I have not seen one of these myself!  I am changing the question to "public" because others might benefit from seeing this.    The

2015-10-09 spider identification:

Hi, Beth:    Thank you for including the images with your question.    The spider is a "Starbellied Orbweaver," Acanthepeira stellata.  Here is a blog post I wrote about them:    http://bugeric

2015-10-03 What kind of bug is this?:

Hi, Carolyn:    I'm in Colorado, too, and have noticed an explosion of these bugs....and they *are* "true bugs," order Hemiptera.    Near as I can tell, they are "false chinch bugs" in the genus Nysius

2015-10-02 Common brown/black spider in San Diego?:

Dear Ms. Muffet:    Thank you for both the nice, clear images, and the thorough description of its behavior.  You obviously have done some homework, and have a delightful sense of humor!    Near as I can


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