European earwig

(Forficula auricularia)

Conservation Status
European earwig
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

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.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: ½ to

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Forests, agricultural fields, suburbs

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

One generation per year

 
     
 

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.

 
     
 

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.

 
     
 

Larva Food

 
 

 

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

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

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

24, 27, 29, 30.

 
  1/8/2019      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

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

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common and widespread

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Dermaptera  
 

Suborder

Eudermaptera  
 

Infraorder

   
  No Rank    
 

Superfamily

Forficuloidea  
 

Family

Forficulidae (common earwigs)  
 

Subfamily

Forficulinae  
 

Tribe

   
  Subtribe    
 

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

 
     
 

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.

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

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 or leathery forewings on an insect used to protect the fragile hindwings, which are used for flying, in beetles and true bugs. Singular: elytron.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

       
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Alfredo Colon
       
  European earwig    
       
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
   
       
       
       

 

Camera

     
Slideshows
   
  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
   

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Alfredo Colon
7/12/2018

Location: Woodbury, MN

European earwig


     
     
 
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Created: 1/8/2019

Last Updated:

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