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EUROPEAN EARWIG

 

Forficula auricularia L. -- Dermaptera, Forficulidae

 

(Contacts)

 

 

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The European earwig is bothersome in and around houses and gardens, but is also a pest in backyard vegetables and flowering plants (Dahlsten & Hall 1999, Legner  1958  , Legner & Davis 1962, 1963).  The parasitoid Bigonicheta spinipennis (Meigen) was introduced to British Columbia, Canada from Europe via the United States.  Turnbull & Chant (1961) reported that this introduction was successful, but Dahlsten & Hall (1999) considered that complete biological control of European earwig may be undesirable as it has value as a predator, consuming large numbers of aphids and scale insects (Clausen 1978).  However, any benefit from this omnivorous earwig (Legner 1958) may have been confused earlier with predation by other wholly predatory species of Dermaptera.  In the Intermountain area of the United States is has been a serious pests on a variety of vegetable crops (Legner 1958)

 

The tachinid, Ocytata pallipes (Fallen) [ = Racodoneura antiqua (Meigen)] was also imported from Europe and released in Oregon, but recoveries were not reported.  In its native area of southern Europe, <1% parasitism was usually demonstrated by this species.  Please refer to the following for greater details on collection, biologies and biological control efforts (Thompson 1928, Mote 1931, Dimick & Mote 1934, Getzendaner 1936, 1937; Crumb et al 1941, Smith 1941, Spencer 1947, McLeod & Chant 1952, Clausen 1956, McLeod 1954, 1962, Johansen 1957, Turnbull & Chant 1961, Ritcher 1966).

 

 

REFERENCES:          [Additional references may be found at:   MELVYL Library ]

 

Clausen, C. P.  1956.  Biological control of insect pests in the continental United States.  U. S. Dept. Agric. Tech. Bull. 1139.  151 p.

 

Clausen, C. P.  1978 (ed.).  Introduced parasites and predators of arthropod pests and weeds:  A world review.  USDA ARS Agriculture Handbook No. 480.  455 p.

 

Crumb, S. D., P. M. Eide & A. E. Bonn.  1941.  The European earwig.  U. S. Dept. Agric. Tech. Bull. 766.  76 p.

 

Dahlsten, D. L. & R. W. Hall.  1999.  Biological control of insects in outdoor urban environments.  In:  Bellows, T. S. & T. W. Fisher (eds.), Handbook of Biological Control:  Principles and Applications.  Academic Press, San Diego, New York.  1046 p

 

Davies, W. M.  1927.  Methods for collecting parasites of earwigs.  Bull. Ent. Res. 17:  347-50.

 

Dimick, R. E. & D. C. Mote.  1934.  Progress report regarding the introduction in Oregon of Digonichaeta setipennis Fall., a tachinid parasite of the European earwig.  J. Econ. Ent. 27:  863-65.

 

Getzendaner, C. W.  1936.  Parasitizing European earwig with Bigonicheta setipennis Fall.  J. Econ. Ent. 29:  1105-14.

 

Getzendaner, C. W.  1937.  The introduction and propagation of Bigonichaeta setipennis Fall., a parasite of the European earwig.  Ent. Soc. British Columbia Proc. (1936) 33:  8-12.

 

Johannsen, C. A.  1957.  History of biological control of insects in Washington.  Northwest Sci. 31:  57-92.

 

Legner , E. F.  1958.  Some effects of aldrin, chlordane, dieldrin and heptachlor on the European earwig.  M.S. Thesis, Utah State University.  56 pp.

 

13.    Legner, E. F. & D. W. Davis.  1962.  Tests with attractants and a simple trap for the European earwig, Forficula auricularia.  J.           Econ.   Entomol. 55(6):  1006-1007.

 

15.    Legner, E. F. & D. W. Davis.  1963.  Some effects of aldrin, chlordane, dieldrin and heptachlor on the European earwig,              

           Forficula  auricularia.  J. Econ. Entomol. 56(1):  29-31.

 

McLeod, J. H.  1954.  Statuses of some introduced parasites and their hosts in British Columbia.  Ent. Soc. Brit. Columbia Proc. (1953) 50:  19-27.

 

McLeod, J. H.  1962.  A review of the biological control attempts against insects and weeds in Canada.  Part I.  Biological control of pests of crops, fruit trees, ornamentals and weeds in Canada up to 1959.  Commonwealth Inst. Biol. Control, Tech. Commun. 2:  1-33.

 

McLeod, J. H. & D. A. Chant.  1952.  Notes on the parasitism and food habits of the European earwog, Forficula auricularia L. (Dermaptera: Forficulidae).  Canad. Ent. 84:  343-45.

 

Mote, D. C.  1931.  The introduction of the tachinid parasites of the European earwig in Oregon.  J. Econ. Ent. 24:  948-56.

 

Ritcher, P. O.  1966.  Biological control of insects and weeds in Oregon.  Oreg. Agric. Expt. Sta. Tech. Bull. 90.  39 p.

 

Smith, C. W.  1941.  Successful hibernation of the earwig parasite Bigonichaeta setipennis Fall., in Ontario.  Ent. Soc. Ontario, 71st Ann. Rept. 1940:  29-32.

 

Spencer, G. J.  1947.  The 1945 status of Digonichaeta setipennis, tachinid parasite of the European earwig, Forficula auricularia Linn. in West Point Gray, B. C.  Ent. Soc. British Columbia Proc. 43:  8-9.

 

Thompson, W. R.  1928.  A contribution to the study of the dipterous parasites of the European earwig (Forficula auricularia L.).  Parasitology 20:  123-58.

 

Turnbull, A. L. & D. A. Chant.  1961.  The practice and theory of biological control in Canada.  Canad. J. Zool. 39:  697-753.