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Earwig Forficula auricularia

Earwigs belong to a group of insects of their own. And where most major insectgroups have very varying species, earwigs are all pretty much the same. Even experts have difficult identifying a species, but the dangerously looking equipment at the end of the body varies per species, thus enabling identification. Many earwigs can not fly. Even the Common Earwig, which can fly rather well, hardly ever does. Earwigs eat rotting plants, although some species are carrion. Mother earwigs in many cases not only protect the eggs, but the young as well. Oh, and don't worry: as far as we can remember nobody actually had this animal wiggling in his ear! Reaching a length of 12 to 15 mm this is a rather big insect. It it is extremely common in gardens. This species is known as the Earwig, the Common Earwig or the European Earwig.

In the top pictures the male. It often is slightly darker in colour than the female, but not always. The best way to tell the sexes apart is by looking at the pincers. Inside there is a small thorn in the males tongs, while the female has smooth pincers alltogether. Just look at the female depicted in the middle pictures. In the bottom pictures the latvae called nymphs.