Entomology (Study of Bugs)/pollinator ID


QUESTION: Trying to find a field guide to native pollinators (not all insects) for Eastern NC (we're in NC). I have Kaufman's FG. Not just bees -- we want to learn about wasps and flies, too. Just ID on web a female Four-Toothed Mason wasp on our screened porch. Beautiful.

We have moths and butterfly books.


ANSWER: Hi, Jen:

Ironically, or at least coincidentally, I am the principal author of the Kaufman Guide you speak of.

I wish there were more books on pollinator identification.  I just produced a field guide to Common Bees & Wasps of Ohio that you can obtain free from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife, for free.  There is a great deal of overlap between Ohio and North Carolina in insect fauna, save for the coastal plain.

Heather Holm did a great self-published book on pollinators of the upper Midwest (Minnesota especially), and I highly recommend it, too.  Its title is Pollinators of Native Plants .

Lastly, the Xerces Society has a very good book, Attracting Native Pollinators .  Oh, and The Bees in Your Backyard , from Princeton University Press, is an exceptional reference to all North American bees.

Hope this helps.  Feel free to "like" "Bug Eric" on Facebook.  I frequently post about new books, websites, and other resources, as well as links to my blog, etc.  Wasps are my favorite insects so they get a good amount of my own press. :-)



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Great to know that your guide to common bees and wasps in Ohio overlaps NC. We'll definitely request it. We've looked at the Xerces Society's book on Native Pollinators, but it doesn't fit our needs. Too much about bees and additional info (how to attract them and so on) that we already know, and not enough at all about wasps and flies -- even though they are considered "native pollinators."

Just our two cents.


I looked for you on Facebook, but alas couldn't find you....

Keep an eye on Amazon and other booksellers for new titles.  Pollinators are a hot topic right now and there are sure to be more titles.


is another great place for all things entomology.

Lastly, are you familiar with Bugguide.net?  If not, check it out.  It is the most comprehensive online resource for North American insects and related organisms north of Mexico.  It has links to other sites, too, all reputable if not even academic.

Good luck!



Entomology (Study of Bugs)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Eric R. Eaton


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.


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.

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.