Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Expert Profile

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Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.

Experience in the area

21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.


Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.


American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.


B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

What do you like about this subject?

So many insects; so little time......

What do you still hope to achieve/learn in this field?

Contribute to knowledge base of distribution of terrestrial insects in southeastern West Virginia; assist in monitoring populations of caverniculous invertebrates in same area.

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Recent Answers from Ed Saugstad

2016-12-06 what is this i found in my carpet:

Dear Aaron - I cannot see enough detail in your images to hazard a positive identification. That aside, the only two possibilities that would be of concern are (1) flea larvae - see http://tinyurl.com/jpru9n2

2016-11-27 Please help identify waterbug? Florida East Coast:

Dear Adriana - I can see only one insect in your image, and it appears to be a tiny parasitic (on other insects) wasp. These wasps lack venom, but some have a very sharp ovipositor (used in inserting their

2016-11-26 Insect found on bedding:

Dear Dale = This is an abdomen and metathorax of a true bug, but these remains are not sufficient for a positive identification. That aside, I have my doubts that it is a bed bug. Compare your image with

2016-11-19 Bright-coloured California fly:

Dear Jascha - My best guess is that this could be a muscoid fly in the genus Atherigona - see http://tinyurl.com/grwm9op for an example. This genus apparently is quite a recent addition to the Diptera

2016-11-18 Unknown insect:

Dear Jascha - Your second specimen most definitely is a moth fly (Diptera: Psychodidae). These also sometimes are called sewer flies or drain flies among other epithets, and may become nuisance pests when


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