Ring-legged Earwig

Euborellia annulipes

Drees, Texas A&M University Department of Entomology

Ring-legged Earwigs are a very common insect in our area. They are usually between 1/2 inch and one inch long. Females are slightly larger than males.

These insects are brown to black and have yellow legs with brown rings on them. Their antennae are black with white rings. They have no wings.

Earwigs live in gardens and fields. They are nocturnal, so they hide under rocks, logs, and plants during the day.

Paul Choate, Entomology and Nematolgy Dept., University of Florida

Paul Choate, Entomology and Nematolgy Dept., University of Florida

Ring-legged Earwigs lay small white eggs about 1/16 inch long. One female earwig will lay up to seven clutches (batches) of eggs, with about 50 eggs in each. She lays them in the soil or under debris such as dead leaves. After she lays her eggs, she chases the male earwig away.

Eggs hatch in about 17 days, unless it is near winter. If the weather is getting cold, the eggs won't hatch until the next Spring, when the temperature is warm again. The mother earwig stays with her eggs until they hatch, even if she has to wait through an entire winter.

Before eggs hatch, the mother earwig protects them from mites, fungi, other earwigs, and any other predators. She often cleans them or turns them.

Baby earwigs are called nymphs. Nymphs look a lot like adult earwigs and eat the same foods, including: aphids, isopods, leaf hoppers, caterpillars, beetle larvae, centipedes, other small insects, some plants, and ground litter (old plant stems and leaves). They are vicious predators who can eat animals larger than themselves.

Colin L. Miller, at www.geocities.com/colin_l_miller/index.html

Earwigs will often climb plant stems to reach aphids and other insects. Other times, they patrol the ground.

Ring-legged Earwigs can live up to approximately 200 days. Predators of earwigs include tachnid flies, ground beetles, and other earwigs. Fungi grow easily on earwig eggs and frequently destroy them.

Relationships in Nature:

PREY/FOOD
PREDATORS
SHELTER
OTHER

Giant Willow Aphid

Common Black Ground Beetle

English Plantain

Isopod

Ring-legged Earwig

Common Dandelion

Garden Centipede

Garden Centipede

Smooth Crabgrass

Eastern Tent Caterpillar

Common Yellowthroat

Switchgrass

Common Black Ground Beetle

Daring Jumping Spider

Red Clover

Leafhopper

Six-spotted Tiger Beetle

Virginia Creeper

Ring-legged Earwig

Bracken Fern

Fiery Searcher

Poison Ivy

Pennsylvania Firefly

White Cushion Moss

Patent-leather Beetle

Bird-foot Violet

Black Carpenter Ant

Kentucky Bluegrass

Convergent Ladybug Beetle

British Soldiers

Horned Fungus Beetle

Green Stinkbug

Cabbage White

Eastern Subterranean Termite

Relationship to Humans:

Ring-legged Earwigs are sometimes considered pests, becaue they occasionally eat crops (lettuce) and sometimes they find their way indoors. Earwigs do little damage to crops however, and usually help more than they hurt by eating pests.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Animal
PHYLUM
Arthropod
CLASS
Insect
ORDER
Dermaptera
FAMILY
Labiduridae
GENUS
Euborellia
SPECIES
Euborellia annulipes

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