A Guide to the Insects of the Coal Oil Point Reserve

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Funded in part by the UCSB Pearl Chase Fund

Last updated 08/15/2005
  Insects of Coal Oil Point > Guide > Dermaptera - Earwigs

Dermaptera - Earwigs

Earwigs are primarily nocturnal insects, hiding in crevices and debris during the day. They feed mainly on decaying plant matter, though a select few are predaceous. The name “earwig” comes from an old superstition that they get stuck in people’s ears. This myth is completely untrue.

Earwigs can be recognized by their characteristic rear pincers. Both males and females have pincers, however the males’ are larger and more rounded. These pincers are used for defense, offense, and prey manipulation.

Only the European earwig has been found at Coal Oil Point Reserve.

Earwig Photos
(click to enlarge)

European earwig (male)
Foricula auricularia


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