Dermaptera (earwigs - plant pests)

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Forficula auricularia (click on image to enlarge it)
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Dermaptera (earwigs - plant pests)

The species of this group are medium-sized, elongated and often omnivorous insects, typically 10-20 mm long. They are often regarded as beneficial predators of insect pests but may also damage crops and are then considered to be plant pests. For example the European earwig, Forficula auricularia, is mainly regarded as a beneficial species in Europe, its native range, see F. auricularia (as predator). However it has been introduced into North America around 1900 and populations there can reach high numbers and damage crops like fruits, see F. auricularia (as plant pest).

Dermaptera adults have an elongated and flat body with short, scale-like forewings. The hindwings are semi-circular and folded underneath the forewings. However, they rarely fly and apterous forms are also common. The abdomen carries prominent, pincer-like cerci at the end. These are mainly used for hunting prey, folding the wings and for defence.

For species which predominantly feed on insect pests see Dermaptera (predators).

The following genera and individual species are currently entered in the system: