European Earwig
( Forficula auricularia )


2012-1023-38cp1309-der00707-forficula_auricularia[1330h01s,l,a,dorsum]{estrand}-g.jpg

PHOTO COMMENT
Earwig means ear creature. These European natives may once have been worn as earrings. Known as ?pincherbugs.? in Oakland, earwigs feed on organic matter from soft-bodied pests to rose petals. They have shortened, leathery wing covers (tegmina) that hide a pair of plaited wings which adults may use to fly. Bodies are very dark brown; legs, tegmina and antennae are light brown; cerci (pinchers) are larger in males than in females. Females care for eggs; hatchlings resemble adults.

IDENTIFICATION
Identification:Forficula auricularia
(Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name:European Earwig
Life Stage:(A) adult

PHYLOGENY

Phylum:Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Superorder:Polyneoptera
Order:Dermaptera
Suborder:Eudermaptera
Family:Forficulidae
Subfamily:Forficulinae
Genus:Forficula
Taxon Code:DER00707
ITIS/TSN:186036

LOCATION DETAILS
Location Name
Golden Gate Park, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
County:San Francisco County
ECI Site#:CA38CP0000

RECOGNITION
Description
Male: Cerci (pincers) 4-8 mm. Female: Cerci 3 mm; tegmina 2 mm. Male cerci vary from about half as long to longer than the abdomen, broadened basally, with crenulate teeth basally and on beginning of curvature of inner margin. Antennae: 12 to 15 segments. Color: Adults are rich reddish-brown, with wing covers and legs dull yellow brown, and the wings completely developed. Large forceps of male distinguis this species from others in North American.
Wingspan
~10-12 mm. However, wings are folded beneath the tegmina (leathery forewings) and are rarely visible. These earwigs do fly.
Body Length
12-22 mm
Colors
Base color: dark brown, almost black, Color1: dark brown Color2: light brown

BIOLOGY
Food
Omnivorous, and both beneficial and pestiferous. This insect will eat pests on plants as well as the plants themselves.
Distribution
Cosmopolitan, native to western Palearctic; widely though spottily distributed across NA; introduced from Europe around 1910.
Development
Females lay clutches of eggs which she tends to keep clean and safe. Nymphs are miniature, undeveloped versions of the parents, with wings developing gradually on the outside of the body with each molt, the number of segments in the antennae also increasing with each molt, and the cerci develop from thin rods into the characteristic cerci of the adults. The female continues to look after early stage hatchlings.

CREDITS
Photographer
Erica Strand

References
BugGuide .
ITIS ITIS TSN#.


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