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(Class Insecta, Order Dermaptera)
Invertebrates Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
European Earwig (Forficula auricularia)
European Earwig (Forficula auricularia)

General: The Earwigs (Class Insecta, Order Dermaptera) are a group of small, elongate creatures with two long antennae and two caudal pinchers (cerci). Their bodies are generally dark brown and flattened. They have two pairs of wings, but the forewings are small and thickened. Interestingly, they cover the membranous hindwings, which are folded and tucked under the forewings. Males have curved pinchers, while those of females are straight.

There are 3 three orders, 12 families, and about 1,800 species of earwigs worldwide. Most however, are in one family: Forficulidae, and the most frequently encountered earwig is the common European Earwig (Forficula auricularia). This species is native to Europe, but has been spread worldwide.

European Earwig (Forficula auricularia)

Females exhibit parental care: they guard and care for their eggs until they hatch.

European earwigs feed on other bugs and plant material, and so like things like human garbage. They live in human habitation successfully.

The common name comes from old legends about these insects burrowing into the ear of a human to lay eggs in the brain (not true). These creatures are nocturnal, which adds to their perceived insidious nature.

European Earwig (Forficula auricularia) European Earwig (Forficula auricularia), ventral view.
European Earwig (Forficula auricularia) European Earwig (Forficula auricularia), ventro-lateral view.

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 090907

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