ABC > Home > INSECTS > Dermaptera (earwigs)

Dermaptera ~ Earwigs

Although the cerci, or pincers, on the end of the abdomen are a good identifier for this group, they do also resemble rove beetles in having reduced wing covers.

Adults and nymphs have chewing mouthparts; they are predators and/or scavengers.

Earwigs have four wings, but the first pair is reduced and serve as covers for the larger, folded flight wings. Some species are wingless.

Dermapterans develop through incomplete, or simple, metamorphosis: the nymphs resemble adults and molt four to six times before reaching maturity. Nymphs and adults may sometimes be found together in places where they hide, such as under rocks. In some species, the mother guards the eggs and also feeds the young larvae.

Size ranges from rather small to medium. Adults rarely reach 20 mm in length.

There are not a large number of species in our area, but they are similar and rather difficult to distinguish.

These are the Families of Dermaptera (earwigs) likely to be encountered in Austin, Texas:

[long-horned earwigs]

[red-legged earwigs]

  ABC > Home > INSECTS > Dermaptera (earwigs)