This year's long dry summer seems to have been favourable for Common Earwigs, they have caused more damage to the plants on the deck than any year I can remember. The Common Earwig (Forficula auricularia) is another introduced insect from Europe that can become a pest when their numbers are high. They are remarkably adaptable and eat fruit, foliage, insects, decaying organic matter and flowers. They can be major predators of aphids. This photo shows a male, with curved pincers at the rear to the insect. Females have straighter pincers. The origin of the name is not clear. Some say the name originated as an Old English phrase meaning "ear insect" or "ear creature," and there are old accounts of earwigs entering human ears to feed. This is dicredited by modern sources. Others conjecture it's a corruption of the phrase "ear wing," referring to the ear-like shape of the insect's hind set of wings. The pincers can be used to pinch though, although not hard enough to be a real menace.
Two biologists on a beautiful property armed with cameras, smart phones and a marginal knowledge of websites took up the challenge of documenting one species a day on that property. Join along! Posts and photographs by Leah Ramsay and David Fraser (unless otherwise stated; started January 1, 2014.