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Earwigs do like cool, moist hide-outs, though. The word "earwig" comes from the Old English for "ear beetle", so maybe an earwig crawled into the ear of some king or chieftain one night and he told absolutely everyone about it. Or perhaps, in the old days, when people lived in hovels made of wood and animal skins or whatever, it might have been quite a common occurrence. I don't know. Fact is, ears aren't a great place for earwigs. I doubt it's anything personal, they just don't think of you in that way. Friends? Friends.
|Male, Image via Wikipedia|
Common Earwigs have a flattened body shape, perfect for crawling into little crevices by day, while most of their activities are conducted at night. Mostly eating, I suspect. The Common Earwig has a wide, omnivorous diet, eating plants, decaying plants, aphids, spiders, insect eggs and all sorts. They aren't great predators, but they certainly can kill and eat small prey. This brings us to the most obvious part of the earwig: the cerci.
Many insects have cerci, the paired appendages at the rear, but none are quite as distinct and powerful as those of the earwig. Aided by a flexible abdomen these pincers have a variety of uses, including capturing prey, threat displays and giving a nip to anything that gets too close. They're not so strong as to really harm humans, but you would probably feel it. Another use is to tuck in their wings. They have 1 pair of flimsy wings for flying and another pair that form a short, tough protection for them as the earwig crawls about. This protection isn't long like that of beetles, so the flying wings have to be folded up to an utterly absurd degree to fit underneath. No wonder they don't like to fly much! I once caught a flying earwig in my hand. It was flying incredibly slowly with its abdomen hanging down like a weight. Flying is definitely not their forte.
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So, an insect that thrives in cool temperatures, can rest in all sorts of crevices, eat all sorts of food, hunt, protect itself from predators and protect its eggs and young from the dangers of early life. It looks to me like those pincers are going to be around for quite a while yet!