18th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
European Earwig, Forficula auricularia

European Earwig, Forficula auricularia is reddish brown in color. Body is flattened and elongated with slender, beaded antennae. Both sexes of earwigs have pinchers. Males are widely curved and females are straight and nearly parallel. Size: 12-15mm long. Wings are well-developed, but they prefer not to fly. Earwigs have one clutch per year in cold climates and two clutches in warm areas. Earwigs are omnivorous scavengers, but feed on aphids, spiders, insect eggs, and dead plants. European earwigs prefer aphids to plant material or fruit matter. Development is through four nymphal stages. Eggs are buried 5mm below ground in a clutch of 50. F auricularia prefers well-drained soils, but can use plant stems for reproduction. F auricularia can cause significant damage to crops, flowers, and fruit orchards. It eats everything. Major invasive pest.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 06.2019
Date Uploaded: 11.2020
Copyright: © Mary C Legg