Sunday, 10 June 2012

Common Earwig

When did you last look at an earwig? (They do tend to be glossed-over). Here's an opportunity courtesy of a female (straight forceps) Common Earwig (Forficula auricularis) posing on a grass seed head at Cooper's Hill today. They have wings (actually hindwings) closed like a fan then folded twice and tucked under the forwings which are modified into hard cases (elytra) like a beetle's, protecting the wings when they burrow. Few people have ever seen them fly however.

It's fairly normal for antennal segments to break off and you'll note that the left antenna is shorter than the right.

Female earwigs are good mothers, laying 30-50 eggs in a chamber dug into the soil, then licking them to keep them clean, without this they apparently don't hatch.

There are four native species of earwigs, but this is the only one that I've ever seen.

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