Common Earwig
Location: Revelstoke, B.C.
Date: Aug. 8, 2004
       Photo 3

Common Earwig

Common Name: Common Earwig, European Earwig

Latin Name:  Forficula auricularia Linnaeus, 1758
                        (R. Bercha, det.)

Length:  10 to 15 mm

Range: Throughout Alberta

Habitat:  Various

Time of year seen:  Summer

Diet: Insects and plant material

Other:  The Common Earwig is an introduced  European species that first became established in Rhode Island in 1912.  Since that time it has spread across much of North America.  Of the earwig species found in North America it is the one that is encountered most commonly.  Earwigs generally hide during the day in dark places such as cracks and crevices, under rocks and tree bark and in debris.  Once the sun sets they emerge to forage for food.  Although they are omnivores, their preference is to consume other insects, making them beneficial to gardeners.  However if insect prey is limited the Common Earwig will consume vegetable matter, specifically  flower blooms.  In some cases it can become a pest of commercially produced flowers.  The pincher like cersi at the tip of their abdomen are used in courtship and to capture prey.  Although they have wings, they are not inclined to fly. (Vickery et al, 1985 & Eaton et al, 2006)


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