Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Expert Profile

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Eric R. Eaton


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I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. 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

Read More Comments

    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
melissa02/05/16101010thank you for your quick response and .....
Lynn Demi02/03/16101010Thanks so much for your quick response .....
Leslie01/29/16101010Wow! I never expected to have it .....
Mary01/22/16101010Thank you Sir Eric!!

Recent Answers from Eric R. Eaton

2016-02-05 worm:

Melissa:    Insect larvae are nearly impossible to identify without specimens and a good microscope.    That said, I don't think these are coming from either the dog *or* people.  There are several kinds

2016-02-03 possible kissing bug?:

Hi, Ian:      No, this is not a "kissing bug."  It is in the same family (Assassin bugs, Reduviidae), but it does not feed on blood.  This is the Leafhopper Assassin Bug, Zelus renardi.  It probably overwinters

2016-02-03 Bug coloration:

Lynn:    Metallic colors in the animal kingdom are generated by structural elements that bend light, block certain wavelengths, and reflect others.  So, there is no fading because the colors seen are not

2016-02-03 Spider:

Yousef:    Thank you for including the amazing images with your question.  I am unfamiliar with this creature, but will share your images on a Facebook group for spider experts from around the world and

2016-01-29 Spider and web:

Hi, Leslie:    That is really interesting!  At least I can give you a genus-level ID for the spider.  It is an immature (juvenile) orbweaver in the genus Mangora.  I believe there are three species


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