earwig(redirected from earwigged)
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any insect of the order Dermaptera. Earwigs undergo incomplete metamorphosis. The body is elongated (3.5–30 mm) and flexible; the coloring ranges from yellow-brown to black. At the end of the abdomen are pincerlike appendages (modified cerci) that are more complicated in the male than in the female. The forewings (tegmina) are hard and very short; the hind wings are membranous and hidden under the forewings when the insect is at rest. There are also wingless species in the order. The legs are ambulatory, and the tarsi are three-jointed.
Earwigs are found throughout the world, particularly common in the subtropics and tropics. Of the approximately 1,200 species, 26 are found in the USSR. Earwigs are predominantly nocturnal. During the day they hide under rocks, bark, fallen leaves, and other objects. They require moisture and heat. Sometimes earwigs swarm in houses or move into hives. They feed primarily on animal and plant remains but sometimes prey on small insects, spiders, and worms; some species, for example, the European earwig (Forficula auricularia), feed on plants and can damage agricultural crops.
REFERENCEBei-Bienko, G. Ia. Nasekomye kozhistokrylye. Moscow-Leningrad, 1936. (Fauna SSSR, no. 5.)
G. IA. BEI-BIENKO