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Species Forficula auricularia - European Earwig

Half an earwig, times two - Forficula auricularia - male European Earwig? - Forficula auricularia - female Unknown Dermaptera - Forficula auricularia - male Rove beetle? - Forficula auricularia - female European Earwig? - Forficula auricularia earwing 1 - Forficula auricularia Forficula auricularia? - Forficula auricularia Earwig - Forficula auricularia
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Dermaptera (Earwigs)
Family Forficulidae
Genus Forficula
Species auricularia (European Earwig)
Explanation of Names
Forficula auricularia Linnaeus 1758
auricularia = 'of or pertaining to the ear'
Size
body 12-15 mm; forceps: ♂ 4-8 mm ♀ ~3 mm
Identification
Male forceps (distinctive among North American earwigs) 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 have 12-15 segments. Adult wings completely developed.


wing fully opened:
Range
Cosmopolitan, native to western Palaearctic; widely though spottily distributed across NA; introduced from Europe around 1910(1)
Life Cycle
The female lays a clutch of eggs, which she tends and grooms in order to keep it clean and safe.

The immature earwigs are basically like 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 forceps developing from thin rods into the characteristic shapes of the adults. The female continues to look after them after hatching (at least in the early stages).
Remarks
First observed in our area: Seattle, WA 1907 (Fact sheet).
The tachinid flies Triarthria setipennis (Fallen) and Ocytata pallipes have been introduced to control F. auricularia in the 1920s.
Print References
Mueller et al. (1988) (F. auricularia predation on Eriosoma lanigerum)
Internet References
Fact sheet (Capinera 2010-2016)(2)