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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Average Ratings

Recent Reviews from Users

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
Marcus10/31/14101010I have heard that they were good .....
Kristin Dahlen Ellis 10/28/14101010Thanks for your reply Eric :) Good .....
Robin10/25/14101010Ok, well, thanks for trying. Next time .....
Jeannie10/19/14101010Thank you soooo much for your very .....

Recent Answers from Eric R. Eaton

2014-11-13 kissing bug:

Hi, Suzanne:    Yes, kissing bugs probably do feed during the winter, especially if winters are mild there, though they don't need to feed very often.  I wrote a blog post about them:    http://bugeric

2014-11-12 Can you identify:

Jan:    That would be the nymph (juvenile, immature, "baby") of some kind of cockroach.  Relax, the majority of cockroaches live outdoors.    If it happens to be *this* one, however, then you should probably

2014-11-12 drugstore beetle:

Margaret:    Drugstore beetles fly well, and they get around.  They may occasionally be attracted to lights at night, so....    You have to find the source of the infestation, and that can be almost anything

2014-11-10 unknown bug:

Hi, Teddy:    I have no idea what image of mine you are referring to, I'm afraid....Feel free to ask a follow-up question with a link to the image you saw and I'll take it from there.      I do have a

2014-10-30 Predatory insect:

Marlin:    Without seeing at least an image of the creature, I can only hazard a guess:    Praying mantis (yes, they can fly, at least the males)    Antlion (see my blog post here:  http://bugeric.blogspot


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