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Ring-legged Earwig (Euborellia annulipes)

Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Ring-legged Earwig

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Short, faint brown bands on the yellow legs of the Ring-legged Earwig are helpful in identifying this omnivorous species.

Updated: 01/05/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Ring-legged Earwig is a commonly seen insect throughout North America and it gets its creepy name from the false idea that these insects actually crawl into your ear and bite you 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 plant that it may feed from, but beyond that most animals are safe from those intimidating rear pincers.

These Earwigs generally look brown or black with a hint of brown on its yellow legs. The long, armored body can be anywhere from 10mm to 26mm in length and, though some species of earwigs have wings, it seldom flies. Ring-legged Earwigs are found outdoors, usually around gardens and fields. A handful of stray earwigs might make their way into your home, especially when outdoor plants are brought inside in cold weather, but earwigs do not reproduce and infest homes. Most likely, ones found indoors are lost and looking for a way back to nature. Earwigs enjoy the nighttime hours when they are able to roam safely while hunting other insects.

Eggs are laid in the fall in the dirt or loose ground litter and eventually hatch in the spring time. Nymphs 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.©InsectIdentification.org

Known Diet of the Ring-Legged-Earwig

small insects; plants; litter; human food; grain
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General Characteristics

Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
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Taxonomic Hierarchy

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

Identifying Information

Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Euborellia annulipes
Other Name(s): Earwig
Category: Earwig
Size (Adult; Length): 10mm to 26mm (0.39" to 1.02")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; yellow; orange; black
Descriptors: rings; pincers; segmented

Relative Size Comparison

Typical Size Between 10mm (0.4in) and 26mm (1.0in)
Lo: 10mm
Md: 18mm
Hi: 26mm

Territorial Map*

U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Ring-legged Earwig may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Ring-legged Earwig. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.
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