Earwig
( Dermaptera )


2012-0616-01070003-DER01388-Dermaptera[2140h43s,F,A,light]{EXD}-G.jpg

PHOTO COMMENT

IDENTIFICATION
Identification:Dermaptera
(De Geer, 1773)
Common Name:Earwig
Life Stage:(A) adult

PHYLOGENY

Phylum:Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Superorder:Polyneoptera
Order:Dermaptera
Taxon Code:DER01388
ITIS TSN#:102451

LOCATION DETAILS
Location
29629 Mountain Oak Ct., The Oaks - Residential Community, 29629 Mountain Oak Ct., Hayward
County:Alameda County
ECI Site#:CA01070003

RECOGNITION
Earwigs have slender flattened body, bead-like antennae, and are easily recognized by the pair of large pincers (cerci) at the tip of the abdomen. Adult males have 10 abdominal tergites; females, 8. Some are wingless, but in most the fore wings are represented by short leathery covers called tegmina, under which the hind wings (if present) fold in a unique fan-like fashion leaving a chitinized triangular part exposed.
Body Length
6-35 mm (not counting cerci).

BIOLOGY
Food
Plants, organic matter, other insects (some are almost exclusively carnivorous, and many are important in controlling soil pests).
Habitat
Mostly in warm climates; very few range far north. Earwigs are sensitive to heat and dryness, so they usually hide in cool, dark places during the day and come out at night. Some species hide mostly under leaves, rocks and other debris, while others hide under the bark of trees. An important habitat in the deserts of the southwest US is inside rotting cactus- one of the few places with constant moisture even in the driest parts of the year. Winged species are often attracted to light at night
Active Period
Year-round, but often inactive/hiding in cold or dry weather.
Development
Simple metamorphosis with visible changes including increasing number of antennal segments and progressive wing development until sexual maturity. The mother cares for the eggs and nymphs.
Importance
Earwigs were thought to crawl into people's ears at night to nest or lay eggs -- an obvious myth, possibly rooted in rare cases of an earwig accidentally wandering into the ear of someone sleeping in a damp place. Earwigs are harmless to people, though they may emit a foul-smelling liquid when disturbed or use their pincers in defense.

HABITAT
Mostly in warm climates; very few range far north. Earwigs are sensitive to heat and dryness, so they usually hide in cool, dark places during the day and come out at night. Some species hide mostly under leaves, rocks and other debris, while others hide under the bark of trees. An important habitat in the deserts of the southwest US is inside rotting cactus- one of the few places with constant moisture even in the driest parts of the year. Winged species are often attracted to light at night

CREDITS
Photographer
Eddie Dunbar

REFERENCES
  • Order Dermaptera - Earwigs. (http://bugguide.net/node/view/2709). Accessed March 12, 2016. [ IMAGES ]
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System TSN#102451


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