Dermaptera: Earwigs

(from the Greek: derma = skin + ptera = wings)

Earwigs have incomplete metamorphosis, chewing mouthparts, and either 2 pairs of thDermapterae wings or no wings. The front wings, when present, are short and hardened, and act as coverings for the membranous back wings. Earwigs are easy to recognize by the large pincers on the end of the abdomen. Female earwigs lay eggs under rocks or logs and guard both the eggs and, for a short time, the nymphs.

Earwigs are nocturnal and are not often seen, although they are fairly common. They sometimes fly to lights at night, and are occasionally pests on fruit. It was once believed that earwigs entered ears while people were sleeping. Although any small creature can potentially get inside someone’s ear, earwigs are not especially likely to do this.