About Dermaptera


There are about 1,300 species of earwig described worldwide, seven of which occur in central Europe. They are hemimetabolous (they do not have a pupal stage in their development). Usually they have wings; the forewings form short hard wing cases, the hind wings are transparent and membranous and are folded in a complicated fan-pattern under the wing cases. To unfold the hind wings, earwigs lift up their wing cases and unfold the hind wings with the aid of their pincers. The pincers of earwigs are modified cerci, they are usually bigger in males and are used for many different purposes in addition to unfolding the wings (attack and defence, grabbing prey and mating).


Males and females approach each other backwards, the male lifting the female abdomen with his pincers. The female lays eggs in a chamber in the ground and tends them (removing fungal spores and defending the eggs against predators). Some species feed the hatchlings. Wiglets go through 4-5 instars before reaching maturity.


Wikipedia article on Dermaptera