Earwigs (Dermaptera)

Earwigs have elongated bodies with a pair of strong, movable forceps at the rear end.  They are usually pretty shiny, brown insects and some species cannot fly and others can.

There are about 900 species of earwigs worldwide and 21 of those species live in California.  Of the 21 species, only one species is actually native to California.  Earwigs are nocturnal insects and live in moist, secluded areas such as under boards, stones or debris on the ground.  They are one of the few insects that demonstrate parental care as the female actually guards her cluster of eggs.

Most species will feed on decaying plant material and also on small insects.  At times they can damage ornamental plants or agricultural crops.

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