This is a common species of casual intruder occurring virtually everywhere and practicularly all year round. The myth that earwigs bite holes in eardrums stems from their habit of seeking shelter in some dark hole when disturbed. They are recognised by having large forceps at the tip of their abdomen. They are useful because they destroy aphids, but on the other hand may transmit virus infections of plants.
Size, Shape and Colour: This common earwig is 10-20mm in length, body is flattened and elongated, its antennae have 15 segments. Short leathery wing covers. The pincers on the female are almost straight and the males are curved and larger (as shown in the image above).
Biology: Female will lay 20-80 eggs in underground chambers in soil. The females are strongly maternal, tend eggs with great care, will defend them fiercely. Nymphs are a dull grey colour and have straight simple pincers. 4-6 nymphal stages to reach adulthood. The new generation appears in July, the earwigs come out in search of food in the evening and at night. Mating takes place in autumn and the adults hibernate.
Preferred Foods: Carnivorous, eating mainly small insects, dead animal and plant matter. However, roots, buds, flowers, leaves and fruit will also be a food source.
Habitat: Predominately outdoors, under stones, debris, plants, in vegetables and flowers, but do venture indoors as a casual intruder seeking cracks in floorboards, around door frames and skirting boards.