1 minute read

Earwigs: Dermaptera

Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Earwigs And People, European Earwig (forficula Auricularia): Species AccountsGEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS

EUROPEAN EARWIG (Forficula auricularia): SPECIES ACCOUNTS
ST. HELENA EARWIG (Labidura herculeana): SPECIES ACCOUNTS

There are approximately 1,800 species of earwigs found throughout the world, except in the Arctic and Antarctic. They are especially common in the tropics and subtropics. Twenty-two species live in the United States and Canada.

Most earwigs live in moist crevices (KREH-vuh-ses) of all kinds, including under bark, between leaves, and under stones. Some species live on the furry bodies of giant rats or bats as parasites, or animals that live on another organism or host and obtain food from it.

Most earwigs are scavengers (SKAE-vihn-jers) and predators (PREH-duh-ters), feeding both on living and dead insects and plants. Some species eat mainly plants, while others eat mostly insects, such as chinch bugs, mole crickets, mites, scales, aphids, and caterpillars. Parasitic species scavenge bits of dead skin or fungi growing on the bodies of giant rats or feed on skin secretions of bats.

One species, the St. Helena earwig (Labidura herculeana), is listed as Endangered by the World Conservation Union (IUCN). It may even be extinct and no longer exist.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceInsects and Spiders