Minnesota Earwigs

 
Order Dermaptera

Dermaptera is an order of insects that includes earwigs. It is a small order, with only about 1,800 species in about 200 genera of 11 families still in existence worldwide. There are 27 species in 12 genera of 6 families in North America north of Mexico. Only 4 species from 2 families are known to occur in Minnesota.

Dermaptera are characterized by:

  • an elongated, flattened body;
  • a head that is oriented horizontally with mouthparts pointing forward;
  • chewing mouthparts;
  • antennae segmented, thread-like, and no more than half as long as the body;
  • compound eyes present in most species, reduced or lacking in some species;
  • lack of simple eyes (ocelli);
  • four wings in most species, rarely no wings;
  • forewings (elytra) short, thickened, leathery, veinless, and meeting in a straight line down the back;
  • hindwings membranous, semicircular, and folded beneath the forewings at rest;
  • appendages at the end of the abdomen (cerci) well-developed, unsegmented, and forceps-like;
  • ovipositor in females absent or reduced; and
  • the last part of the leg (tarsus) with three segments.

European earwig

 

 

 

 

Photo by Alfredo Colon

           

Recent Additions

 
European earwig
  European earwig

European earwig (Forficula auricularia) 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 omnivorous, feeding on live and dead small insects and on living and dead plant matter.

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.

Earwigs are easily identified by the elongated body and long, forcep-like appendages at the end of the body. European earwig is distinguished by the brown coloration; antennae with 14 segments; and the second segment of the end part of each leg with a lobe at the end that is expanded both to the side and forward under the third segment.

 
  Photo by Alfredo Colon
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

Other Recent Additions
   

 

   

 

 

 

           
Profile Photo Video      

Profile Photo Photo

European earwig (Forficula auricularia)

 

European earwig

     

lesser earwig (Labia minor)

 
     

ring-legged earwig (Euborellia annulipes)

 
     

spine-tailed earwig (Doru aculeatum)

 
     

 

   

No Species Page Yet?

If you do not see a linked page for an insect in the list at left, or the insect does not appear in the list, you can still upload a photo or video as an email attachment or report a sighting for that insect. Click on one of the buttons below and type in the common name and/or scientific name of the insect in your photo, video, or sighting. A new page will be created for that insect featuring your contribution.

 

 

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