Explanation of Names
annulipes = 'ring-legged' (both the common and scientific names refer to the markings on legs)
A medium-sized dark-brown earwig with dark areas on the light-yellow legs ("black armbands"). Although the species has both winged and wingless forms, only the wingless ones are found in our area. Adults have antennae with 14-16 segments, the third and fourth (sometimes the fifth) from the end being white or pale.
Worldwide in temperate and tropical areas, except Australia; widespread across e. US (MA-FL to NE-TX) and BC-CA-AZ in the West; Mexico(1)
; probably introduced from Europe; first detected in the US in 1884[Cite:185010]
under debris, rocks, and bark in dry and damp places(2)
. Its ability to live indoors and habit of hiding in dark places means it can show up just about anywhere people go.
A voracious predator, it will also eat all kinds of plant material, though rarely bothers with live plants
Female lays a clutch of several dozen eggs, which she guards fiercely, also keeping them from getting dirty or dried out. The nymphs molt 4-5 times before becoming adults.
Not uncommon in homes and gardens, though often displaced by other species, esp. the European Earwig. Whatever damage it does to crops like lettuce and strawberries is usually more than made up for by destroying small slugs, caterpillars, termites, and many other pests.
African Earwig (E. cincticollis) is very similar and sometimes has dark areas on the legs, but those tend to be less distinct and not as dark. Adults can be told apart by counting antennal segments: African Earwigs have 17-20 segments as opposed to 14-16 in the Ring-legged Earwig.