Insects & other Arthropods David A Kendall   BSc PhD
E-Mail: kendalluk@aol.com
Order Dermaptera (Earwigs)
(Derma-ptera, from Greek derma = skin, pteron = wing)
Class: Insecta

Elongate insects with biting mouthparts and long, slender antenae. Forewings modified into short, leathery 'wing-cases' (elytra) which meet in the mid-line and reach only a short way down the body. The large, membranous hindwings are semi-circular with radial veins and when not in use they are folded in a complex manner under the small front wings, although many species are entirely wingless. The cerci are modified into stout forceps or pincers at the end of the abdomen, more strongly curved in the male than in the female. Metamorphosis is slight, normally with four nymphal stages. This is a small Order of about 1,000 species worldwide, of which only four are native to the British Isles.

Common Earwig (male)
Forficula auricularia - Common Earwig (male)
b. 10-15 mm
Common Earwig (female)
Forficula auricularia - Common Earwig (female)
b. 10-15 mm
Common Earwig (abdominal pincers)
Forficula auricularia - Common Earwig
(abdominal pincers of male left & female right)
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