Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Expert Profile

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I currently live in San Antonio, TX and have expertise in identifying insects, many types of spiders, and other arthropod critters that infest lawns, ornamentals, structures, trees, pets and livestock. Mites are not a strong point of mine. I'm not a licensed doctor, so I cannot provide medical diagnosis of conditions possibly related to insects or other arthropods. If you've got an interesting photo for me to see, attach it to your question, or let me know and I'll give you my email so the picture will get to me. If you have hosted an insect photo on a website, please include the link so I can go look at it and provide a faster ID for you.

Experience in the area

22+ years' experience as an entomologist: 5 years as a biologist with Merck Animal Health (I was part of the R&D team that worked to develop FrontLine flea and tick products) and 7 years as an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Specialist in San Antonio, Texas with Texas Cooperative Extension.


Veterinary Parasitology, Southwestern Entomologist, San Antonio Express News, San Antonio Gardener Newsletter


BS - Entomology from Texas A&M University in 1992.

Board Certified Entomologist, 1996-2000 - Medical and Veterinary Entomology Specialty (Entomological Society of America)

Awards and Honors

2000 Texas A&M University Vice Chancellor's Award in Excellence for leadership on the Texas Fire Ant Program Educational Team.

What do you like about this subject?

Insects are one of the most diverse and interesting groups of creatures on the planet. They are found everywhere except the poles and the deepest oceans.

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

Better public understanding of insects and the benefits of having insects around. Only 2% of all insect species are actually pests and spoil it for the rest of the insect world.

Something interesting about this subject that others may not know:

Texas is home to more native and migratory butterfly species that any other state in the U.S.!

Something controversial or provocative about this subject

1) During their sleep, people swallow an average of 8 spiders during their lifetime! Urban legend or truth??? 2) There are ~1 million species of insects identified on earth, but experts believe there may be as many as 30 million species of insects total.

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
simon wat07/27/141010 
Marc07/17/14101010Thank you for the response. That was .....
Robert07/12/14101010Thanks so much...very cool
Cynthia06/16/14101010Nathan was very prompt, professional and knowledgeable .....

Recent Answers from Nathan Riggs

2014-07-29 I was bitten:

Steven:    This is a species of wasp called an Ichneumon. These wasps are parasites of caterpillars, laying their eggs inside of them.     They are not aggressive and harmless to humans and animals, but

2014-07-27 leaf eating insect at backyard:

You're going to have to move immediately!!    No...just kidding!  Hee hee!    These are leaf beetles. There are many species and some are specific to a certain type of plant. The adults and larvae will

2014-07-12 may have discovered a new bug:

Howdy Robert!    This is a lacewing nymph. Lacewing nymphs feed on other insects and glue the lifeless carcasses to their back as camouflage.     I'm sorry to say that this isn't a new one...    Do a Google

2014-07-11 Any ideas:

Sometimes female butterflies and moths get trapped indoors and sometimes they are full of eggs.    In this case, this is what you are seeing.  These are newly hatched caterpillars from a clutch of eggs

2014-07-02 Orange beetle:

Hi!  This is a species of scarab beetle...a smaller cousin to the June bug. They live outdoors, but are attracted to lights at night. They will fly through an open door to reach lights.    These beetles


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