Insect Identification
Insect Identification

Ring-Legged Earwig - (Euborellia annulipes)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 1/29/2014

The small dark spots on the legs of the Ring-Legged Earwig are helpful in identifying this species.

The Ring-Legged Earwig is a commonly seen insect throughout North America and gets it creepy name from the false idea that these insects actually crawl into your ear and bite you from the inside the ear canal. The fact is that these insects are generally afraid of people and are more likely to scurry away than run toward you if they are disturbed or feel threatened. At most, the Ring-Legged Earwig lightly damages any plants that it may feast on but beyond that, a passerby is safe from those intimidating pincers.

These Earwigs generally appear as a brown or a black with some possible yellow on the body. The body itself can range between 10mm and 26mm in length and, though some species of Earwigs have wings, they seldom fly.

Ring-Legged Earwigs are very common in the outdoors, usually found around gardens and fields. Stray Earwigs might make their way into your home, but that would be about the extent of indoor habitation. Most likely, ones found indoors are "lost". Earwigs enjoy the nighttime hours when they are more at liberty to roam safely in order to hunt other insects.

Eggs are laid in the fall in the dirt or loose ground litter and eventually hatch in the spring time. Nymphs will tend to grow faster in the hot summer months in the South, producing more generations per year than in the cooler regions of the northern of the United States and Canada.

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Category: Earwig
Common name: Ring-Legged Earwig
Scientific Name: Euborellia annulipes
Other Names: Earwig

  Kingdom: Animalia
   Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
     Order: Dermaptera
      Family: Labiduridae
       Genus: Euborellia
        Species: annulipes

Adult Size (Length): 10mm to 26mm (0.39in to 1.02in)

Identifying Colors: brown; yellow; orange; black

Additional Descriptors: rings, pincers, segmented

North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

* Keep in mind that insect reach is not governed by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.