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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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
maureen08/26/14101010Thanks you Eric! I really appreciate the .....
Tadas08/25/14101010Eric is fantastic on so many levels .....
Tadas08/19/14101010WOW! Eric is terrific. He responded quickly .....

Recent Answers from Eric R. Eaton

2014-08-26 Dragonfly/moth/cranefly/mosquito bug:

Dear Maureen:    How delightful to get your question and the wonderful sketch accompanying the query!    I lived in Cincinnati from 1988-1999, but was never fortunate enough to see the beauty that you

2014-08-26 beetles:

Tammy:    Thank you for including the images with your question, but the question says it is from Colorado, and now you state you live in Oregon, so I wonder where exactly you found the specimens.    This

2014-08-25 larve found on bed??:

Donna:    I'm sorry, but without seeing at least a clear image of the creature in question, there is no way I can make a responsible assessment.  *Adult* insects are hard enough to identify, but larvae

2014-08-24 small biting incest:

James:    I'm sorry, but you give me no image, no context, almost nothing to go on here.  Indoors?  If so, sounds very much like bed bugs to me:    http://bugeric.blogspot.com/2014/04/a-bed-bug-primer

2014-08-23 Bug indentification:

Hi, Ashley:    Thank you for including the images with your question.    I am pretty confident these are nymphs (juveniles, immatures, "babies") of some kind of cockroach.  German Cockroach is the most


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