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UK Nature > Earwigs > Forficula auricularia




Scientific Name: Forficula auricularia
Common Name: Common Earwig

Forficula auricularia, or the Common Earwig, has a length of 10-15mm, excluding the pincers. The latter are 4-9mm in the male, strongly curved and with a flat base. Female pincers are 4-5mm and almost straight. The body is shiny brown, with the hindwings projecting as short triangles from under the short forewings. Mainly vegetarian, eating a wide range of living and dead plant material, but also taking some insect food. Largely nocturnal, hiding under loose bark and in other crevices by day. Young earwigs always have straight, slender pincers.

The white or cream earwigs that are often unearthed in the garden are not different species; simply individuals that have just changed their skins. Adult all year, but usually dormant in winter. Abundant almost everywhere, in the house as well as in the garden. Often in trees, commonly nestling in clusters of apples in late summer. Throughout Europe and the only earwig commonly seen in the UK.











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