European earwig

(Forficula auricularia)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

European earwig

 

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Nativity

Native to Europe and western Asia, and North Africa. Introduced and now widespread.

Occurrence

Common and widespread

Flight/Season

One generation per year

Habitat

Forests, agricultural fields, suburbs

Photo by Alfredo Colon
Size

Total Length: ½ to

 

Identification

European earwig is native to Europe, western Asia, and North Africa. It was introduced into North America in 1907 or earlier and spread quickly, hitchhiking in vehicles and in shipments from other countries. It is now found across the continent and is the most abundant earwig in North America.

Adults are ½ to long. The head, thorax, and abdomen are dark brown or reddish-brown. The plate covering the upper side of the thorax (pronotum) is shield-shaped and mostly dark brown with pale, translucent margins. The forewings (elytra) are dark or light brown to somewhat translucent. The hindwings are folded beneath the elytra with the tips exposed. The abdomen is usually dark brown to reddish-brown on each segment, giving it a faintly striped appearance. Sometimes the abdomen appears entirely dark brown. At the end of the abdomen there is a pair of long, forcep-like appendages (cerci). On the female, the cerci are about long and are mostly straight, in-curved just at the tip. On the male the cerci are 3 16 to long and are strongly curved.

The antennae are thread-like and have 14 segments.

The legs are yellow to brown. The last part of the leg (tarsus) has three segments. The second tarsal segment has a lobe at the end that is expanded both to the side and forward under the third tarsal segment.

 
Similar
Species

 


Nymphal Food

 

 
Adult Food

Adults are omnivorous, feeding on live and dead small insects and on living and dead plant matter.

 
Life Cycle

Mating takes place in September. In the fall, the mated female digs a burrow 3 16 to 5 16 (5 to 8 mm) underground. Adults overwinter either as brooding pairs or in congregations. In late winter or early spring, the female drives the male from her burrow and lays a clutch of 30 to 55 eggs. The males often die when kicked out of the burrow in late winter. The eggs hatch in about 70 days. The offspring are independent after two months and reach sexual maturity at three months.

 
Behavior

European earwigs are active at night. During the day they remain concealed under leaf debris or in other moist, close places. They live in large congregations except in mating season.


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 24, 27, 29, 30.


Comments

What’s in a Name?
A common myth is that the name earwig refers to the insects crawling into the ears of sleeping human beings. In fact, it refers to the shape on the unfolded, semicircular hindwing, which vaguely resembles a human ear.


Taxonomy

Order:

Dermaptera

 

Suborder:

Eudermaptera

 

Superfamily:

Forficuloidea

 

Family:

Forficulidae (common earwigs)

 

Subfamily:

Forficulinae

 

Genus:

Forficula

 

No Rank:

auricularia species complex

 
Subordinate Taxa

There are two reproductively and geographically distinct groups. The eastern group is found in Minnesota.

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

common earwig

European earwig


 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Cercus

One of a pair of small sensory appendages at the end of the abdomen of many insects and other arthropods. In Odonata, one of the upper pair of claspers. Plural: cerci.

 

Elytra

The hardened forewings on an insect used to protect the fragile hindwings, which are used for flying, in beetles and true bugs. Singular: elytrum.

 

Pronotum

The saddle-shaped, exoskeletal plate on the upper side of the first segment of the thorax of an insect.

 

Tarsus

The last two to five subdivisions of an insect’s leg, attached to the tibia; the foot. Plural: tarsi.

 

 

 

 

 

       

Visitor Photos

   
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Alfredo Colon


  European earwig    

       
       
       

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  European Earwig (Forficula auricularia)
Bill Keim
 
  European Earwig (Forficula auricularia)  
     
  Forficula auricularia
Dani RTH
 
  Forficula auricularia  

 

slideshow

     

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Other Videos

 
  European earwig - Forficula auricularia
adamitshelanu
 
   
 
About

Published on Nov 25, 2014

European earwig - Forficula auricularia

Species of the insect:
European earwig
Forficula auricularia
Common earwig (Family: Forficulidae)

Date: 22 SEPTEMBER 2014

[vado-g3 avidemux audacity irfanview]

 
     
  Common earwig (Forficula auricularia) - 2014-06-15
Westdelta
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 17, 2014

Forficula auricularia, the common earwig or European earwig, is an omnivorous insect in the family Forficulidae.

----------

De gewone oorworm (Forficula auricularia) is een insect dat behoort tot de orde oorwormen (Dermaptera).

Geo location: 52.05006 4.22839

 
     
  Forficula auricularia
Diana-Alexandra I.
 
   
 
About

Published on Jan 15, 2018

© I.Diana-Alexandra

 
     
  Closer Look At A European Earwig
adamitshelanu
 
   
 
About

Published on Feb 16, 2015

Closer Look At A European Earwig

Species of the insect:

European earwig

Forficula auricularia

Common earwig (Family: Forficulidae)

Date: 02 OCTOBER 2014

[vado-g3 avidemux-32bit avidemux-64bit audacity irfanview]

 
     
  Gemeiner Ohrwurm (Forficula auricularia) - Macro movies
Chrigu wälti
 
   
 
About

ublished on Sep 26, 2012

Der gemeine Ohrwurm (Forficula auricularia)

http://www.Tierportraet.ch

 
     

 

Camcorder

         

Visitor Sightings

   
Report a sighting of this insect.

Alfredo Colon
7/12/2018

Location: Woodbury, MN

European earwig


     
     
 

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