Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Family Forficulidae - Common Earwigs

European Earwig ??? - Forficula auricularia - female White Earwig - Forficula auricularia - male BG2382 E6451 - Doru taeniatum - female European Earwig - Forficula auricularia - male Forficula auricularia - male NC Mystery Bug - Forficula auricularia - female UI Bug for ID - Forficula auricularia - female Earwig species - Forficula auricularia
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Dermaptera (Earwigs)
Family Forficulidae (Common Earwigs)
Explanation of Names
Forficulidae Latreille 1810
The largest earwig family, with 6 spp. in 4 genera in our area (incl. 3 adventive spp. in 3 genera; only Doru spp. are native)(1) and >460 spp. in 66 genera worldwide, arranged into 8 subfamilies(2)
In the 3 tarsal ("foot") segments, the 2nd one extends under the outermost one, and is wider. Chelisochidae also has a 2nd tarsal segment extending under the final one, but it's the same width as or narrower than the part it extends under, and has a brush of bristles on the underside.
worldwide, incl. most of NA; in our area, Doru aculeatum occurs in e. US & so. ON, 2 Doru spp. are restricted to so. US, the adventive Forficula auricularia is widespread (and most common) + 2 adventive spp. recently found in so. FL(1)
Both plant and animal matter, including bits of organic matter in soil and leaf cover.
Life Cycle
The female lays her eggs together in one place and tends them until they hatch, then cares for the nymphs until they can fend for themselves.
The nymphs are like smaller versions of the parents, but have no wings. As the nymphs near adulthood, the developing wings can be seen on the thorax, becoming fully developed, functional wings at the last molt.
While some can become minor pests by eating fruits and vegetables, their voracious appetite for insects and other invertebrates (most notably ground-dwelling termites) usually far outbalances their negative impact.