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

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
Kelley11/30/15101010Thank you very much. I'm working on .....
Tiffany11/27/15101010Thank you. I am going to vheck .....
Jennifer Howard11/27/15101010Thank you so much for you quick .....

Recent Answers from Eric R. Eaton

2015-11-30 I need to know what type of bug this is.:

Hi, Kelley:    I cannot glean enough from your own image to tell what the object or organism might be; the image from the internet is definitely a bed bug.    The other observations you have shared are

2015-11-26 Tiny flying black bugs:

Hi, Jennifer:    Thanks for including the images with your question.  I "zoomed in" on the critter, and it would appear that it is a "humpbacked fly" or "scuttle fly," family Phoridae.    Phorids are extremely

2015-11-26 Shower worm:

Hi, Tiffany:    Well, I can't tell *exactly* what you have there, but I can guarantee it is nothing that will compromise the health of your family, or pets, or property.    One very likely candidate for

2015-11-22 Bug ID Question:

Pinky:    Thank you for including the image with your question.  The insects are the larvae of carpet beetles, family Dermestidae.  Since easily 70% of the questions I receive pertain to these, forgive

2015-11-21 Black wasp in Florida:

Caleb:    I didn't expect an image with your description, so thank you for including that!    I strongly suspect that your wasp is something in the genus Liris.  The females hunt crickets as food


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