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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 Answers from Eric R. Eaton

2014-04-15 Bugs in the kichen:

Andrius:    Thank you for including the images.  They are "booklice" in the order Psocodea.  Here's more about them and how best to control them (I'd advise against any kind of chemical treatments in any

2014-04-15 Tiny brown bugs in cabinets:

Lisa:    Thanks for including the images.  They are larvae (and shed molts) of carpet beetles, family Dermestidae.  Not sure which genus you are dealing with, but the general life history and food preferences

2014-04-06 caterpillar with no legs!?:

Hi, Kayla:    Thanks for sharing the video.    Looks to me like the pupa of a crane fly (family Tipulidae), something like this:    http://bugguide.net/node/view/180823    The pupa is the stage between

2014-04-04 Stung by a Parasitic wasp larvae I believe:

Kolette:    Thank you for including the images with your question.    What you have there is a fly larva, either of a mydas fly (family Mydidae) or a robber fly (family Asilidae).  In both cases, larvae

2014-04-03 What type of bug is this ?:

Sammy:    Nice image, thank you for including that.    This is some kind of "booklouse" in the order Psocodea.  Your rice or other food product may have been infested even before you made the purchase


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