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Insect Scout: deadmanswill
Location: Miryalaguda, AP, India
Species Identifier(s): Suunto (http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/919217/)
Points to appreciate:
- Notice its leathery skin.
- The two appendages on its rear are called cerci. They are used as forceps by this insect.
- Check out earwig nymph here and here.
- Earwig is the common name given to the insect order Dermaptera characterized by membranous wings folded underneath short leathery forewings. The abdomen extends well beyond the wings, and frequently, though not always, ends in a pair of forceps-like structures termed cerci.
- The forceps is used for a variety of purposes. In some species, the forceps has also been observed in use for holding prey, and in copulation. The forceps tends to be more curved in males than in females.
- Earwigs are quite common globally. Earwigs are generally nocturnal and can be seen patrolling household walls and ceilings. Earwigs are also drawn to damp conditions. Earwigs tend to gather in shady cracks or openings or anywhere that they can remain concealed in daylight hours.
- Most earwigs are elongated, flattened, and are dark brown. Lengths are mostly in the quarter- to half-inch range (10–14 mm), with the St. Helena earwig reaching three inches (80 mm).
- Flight capability in Dermaptera is varied, as there are species with and without wings. Most species of winged earwigs are capable of flight, yet earwigs rarely fly around.
- This species feeds on other insects, plants, ripe fruit, and garbage. Earwigs can be considered in some ways a beneficial part of the garden, especially when they prey on other insects, but they can become a nuisance because of their habit of positioning themselves within leaves and feeding on soft plant tissues.