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For educational purposes:--

Information on the basics of Entomology


Introduction                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Contents


Entomology:  DERMAPTERA 1

Kingdom:  Animalia, Phylum: Arthropoda

Subphylum: Hexapoda: Class: Insecta: Order: Dermaptera



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Pteragota:  Paurometabola

  Order:  Dermaptera

    General Summary



  Biological Control Projects

    Sample Examinations

    References      Citations


General Summary of Dermaptera


          The Dermaptera, -- <Adults> & <Juveniles>  -- The "earwigs" are insects with chewing mouthparts, a ligula that is two-lobed, and forewings that are modified to form short leathery tegmina, while their hind wings are large, membranous and fan-shaped.  They also have unjointed cerci that are always modified into forceps.  The metamorphosis is simple.


          When unfolded, the wing presents the appearance of a half wheel, the 'spokes' radiating backwards from the anterior border. The large posterior membranous portion corresponds to the anal wing area of Orthoptera, that part analogous to the anterior area of the latter order being greatly strengthened by the uniting of a number of longitudinal veins. The hind wings have a distinct venation and fold along transverse as well as longitudinal furrows, that differs from the Orthoptera. The forceps are organs of defense and offence. In Labidura they are used for seizing the small animals on which they feed (Borradaile & Potts 1958).


          The appearance of gynandromorphs is rather frequent in this group of insects.


Habits of Earwigs


          The European earwig, Forficula auricularia, is a good example of this order that includes a number of small usually nocturnal insects that are omnivorous in diet. The female lays the eggs in the soil, remains with them until they hatch, and even protects the nymphs thereafter, thereby showing maternal care.  In temperate zones the males remain with their female mates in a ground nest throughout the winter.


          Earwigs are gregarious and crawl in large numbers onto food plants grown in home gardens.  Some species rarely fly.  They are mostly nocturnal and omnivorous.


Control of Earwigs


          Earwigs rarely are an annoyance in dwellings, but they can be serious pests of vegetable crops grown in home gardens.  Prevention is the best approach to control by cleaning up piles of organic litter.  Granular insecticides applied to the ground will eliminate them, but this is not advisable because of possible contamination of food crops through systemic action (Legner & Davis 1963).  The use of poisoned baits is a preferred approach as these can be placed in peripheral areas away from growing plants (see Legner & Davis 1962).




Dermaptera --Biological Control Projects (1% of total projects)


          European Earwig, Forficula auricularia L. <ch-45.htm>




Details of Insect Taxonomic Groups


          Examples of beneficial species occur in almost every insect order, and considerable information on morphology and habits has been assembled.  Therefore, the principal groups of insect parasitoids and predators provide details that refer to the entire class Insecta.  These details are available at <taxnames.htm>.






Introduction                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Contents