Earwigs of Japan

Checklist of the 35 species occurring in Japan

Author: Masaru Nishikawa

The Dermaptera is a rather small order of the Insects and has of about 2,200 species, most of which are distributed in the tropical and the sub-tropical regions and a few are found in other regions. At present, only 36 species (two are unnamed) have been reported from Japan.

The present checklist brings together all the known species, subspecies and forms (except one unnamed species and two varieties) known at the end of 2005, with some additions for the year 2006. Some combinations or synonymies are proposed which are based on Srivastava (1995, 1999) and Kevan & Vickery (1997). The checklist includes 35 species, 3 subspecies and 5 forms of 7 families.

The following species and two forms are not listed: 1. an unnamed earwig from Haha-jima Island [one of Ogasawara Island (= Bonin Islands)], deposited in the Nagoya Insectarium. It seems to be Anisolabis maritima piceus. 2. Gonolabis marginalis f. fuscusaxicia Sakai, 2000 and G. marginalis f. nigeraxicia Sakai, 2000. These forms were very briefly described based on the differences in the colouration of forceps but the character is unstable in the species.

The following five species are listed although these are probably not distributed in Japan: Euborellia woodwardi, Eparchus dux, Timomenus aesculapius, Timonenus lugens and Forficula vicaria.

Three subspecies and two varieties of Anisolabis maritima are listed; however the taxon A. maritima complex in Japan (and not only there) is in confusion.

The following 3 species are also listed although the identity is doubtful: 1. Euborellia annulata from Ogasawara Islands is probably E. plebeja. 2. Nala (?) sp. (Hoso-Hime-Hasamimushi) from Honshu on seashore. 3. Forficula paratomis as new species from Hokkaido is probably F. scudderi.

Detailed information on Japanese earwig fauna is available here

The Pages of Earwigs (Dermaptera) in Japan [Nippon no Hasami-Mushi] by Katsuyuki Kohno

Kohno's earwig page deals with 22 Japanese species and includes photos and information on distribution, habitat, seasonal life history, comments and references for each species.

Check List of Japanese Insects MOKUROKU

A database MOKUROKU is based on "A Check List of Japanese Insects" (supervisor: Y. Hirashima, 1989 & 1990) and treats all the insect species or subspecies recorded from Japan. Each record is composed of 5 items, scientific names of family, genus, species (or subspecies), Japanese name and distributional data. The MOKUROKU was constructed (1st edition, Tadauchi et. al., 1990) in the Computer Center of Kyushu University and the 2nd edition (Tadauchi & Inoue, 1999) has been opened to the public. A user can collect information in part on new species and new recorded species from Japan by using a database KONCHUR. The MOKUROKU includes 6 families and 15 species of Dermaptera.

Further, detailed information on the Japanese earwig fauna is available in the databases and in the link list.

Publications on Japanese Earwigs


Relief, water, glaciers and urban centers. No of Dermaptera species in each country.

Adachi, K. 2003. Insects collected on Danjo-guntô Islands (Part 1). Shin-Tukushi-no-Konchû, (7): 41-74. (In Japanese).

Battarigisu Ed. Dept. (2001) Distribution table of earwigs in Japan. Battarigisu, (126): 38-45, (In Japanese).

Burr, M. (1910) Japanese Work on Dermaptera. Ent. Rec., 22: 134-139. [English translation for Burr (1909) in Russian in the Rev. russe Ent., 9 (3): 335-340.].

Chen, Y. & Ma, W. (1988) Dermaptera: Pygidicranidae, Labiduridae, Labiidae, Forficulidae, Anechuridae. In Huang, F. (Ed.) Insects of Mt. Namjagbarwa region of Xizang, 55-58. Science Press, Beijin. (In Chinese with English summary).

Chen, Y. & Ma, W. (2004) Dermaptera. Fauna Sinica, Insecta 35. 420pp., 8pls. Science Press, Beijin. (In Chinese with English summary).

Hebard, M. (1933) Dermaptera in the collection of the California Academy of Science. Pan-Pacific Entomologist 9: 140-144.

Hua, L. (2000) Dermaptera. List of Chinese Insects. I: 57-60. Zhongshan (Sun Yat-sen) University Press, Guangzhou.

Ichikawa, A. & Kohno, K. (1999) New record of Diplatys (Syndiplatys) flavicollis (Dermaptera: Diplatyidae) from Japan. Tettigonia, 1(2): 99-100.

Ishikawa, H. 1997. Unknown cockroach and earwig from Hachijo-jima Island. Battarigisu, (110): 66. (In Japanese).

Kamimura, Y. 2001. Occurrence of Forficula hiromasai Nishikawa (Dermaptera, Forficulidae) on Hachijo-jima Island, Izu Islands, Japan. Tettigonia, (3): 43-44.

Kevan, D. K. McE. & Vickery, V. (1977) An Annotated Provisional List of Non-Saltatorial Orthopteroid Insects of Micronesia, Compiled Mainly from the Literature. Micronesia, 30 (2): 269-353.

Kohno, K. (1999) Anisolabis maritima complex in Ishigaki island. Battarigisu, (121): 25-27. (In Japanese).

Ma. W. & Chen, Y. (1992) Dermaptera: Pygidicranidae, Diplatydae, Carcinophoridae, Labiduridae and Forficulidae. In Zhao, G. & Ly, F. (Eds.) Insects of the Hengduan Mountains Region, I: 98-103. Science Press, Beijin. (In Chinese with English summary).

Ma, W. & Chen, Y. (1997) Dermaptera: Diplatyidae, Labiduridae, Anisolabididae and Forficulidae. In Yang, X. (Ed.) Insects of the Three Gorge Reservoir area of Yangtze River. 172-183. Chongqing Publishing House, Chongqing. (In Chinese with English summary).

Matsumura, S. & Shiraki, T. (1906) Monographie der Forficuliden Japan. Japansese Journal of the Sapporo Agriculture Collection 2(2): 75-86.

Miyano, S. (1998) Insects of Chichijima and Hahajima in Bonin Island. Ogasawara-Kenkyu, (24): 1-5. (In Japanese with English summary).

Nishikawa, M. (1969) Notes on the Carcinophorinae of Japan and the Ryukyus (Dermaptera: Carcinophoridae). Kontyû, 37 (1): 41-55.

Nishikawa, M. 1970. On the Genus Forficula of Japan including the Ryukyus (Dermaptera: Forficulidae). Kontyû, 38 (1): 75-83.

Nishikawa, M. (1975) Dermaptera. In Ishihara, T. (Ed.) “Gakken Chukousei Zukan, Insect III” (Pictorial encyclopedia of insect III for student): 65-66 (2 pls) + explanation in pp. 187-383. (In Japanese).

Nishikawa, M. (2005) Identity of the earwig recorded as Proreus simulans (Dermaptera: Chelisochidae) from Watarase-Yûsuichi, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. Tettigonia, (7): 1-8.

Nishikawa M (2006) Two new species of the family Spongiphoridae (Insecta: Dermaptera) from the Ryukyus, Japan, with notes on the late Dr. Sakai’s work on Dermaptera in 1999. Biogeorgraphy, 8: 25-24.

Nishikawa M (2006) Notes on the Challinae (Dermaptera: Pygidicranidae), with Descriptions of three new species from China, Korea and Japan. Japanese Journal of Systematic Entomology, 12 (1): 17-31.

Nishikawa, M. (2006) Identity of the earwig recorded as Labidura sp. from Me-shima Island, Danjo-gunto Islands, Japan (2001). Tettigonia. (Submitted on April, 2006).

Nishikawa, M. (2006) Forficula planicollis Kirby, 1891 from Yonaguni Island, Japan (Dermaptera: Forficulidae). Tettigonia. (Submitted on April, 2006).

Sakai, S. (1970-1996) Dermapterorum Catalogus PraeliminarIs., I-VII, XVI-XXXVI. Daito Bunka University, Tokyo.

Sakai, S. (1982) A new proposed classification of the Dermaptera with special reference to the check list of the Dermaptera of the world. Bulletin of the Daito Bunka University 20: 1-108.

Sakai, S. (1989) Some interesting problems on Japanese Dermaptera with reference to the check list of Dermaptera of Japan. Bulletin of the Biogeographical Society of Japan 44: 151-155, pls. 1-16.

Sakai, S. (1999) Recent Dermapteran information. Bull. Daito Bunka Univ., (Natural Sciences), 1999: 1-97. (= Sakai, S. (1999) 2000. Forficula, 2: 1-97. published by Seiroku Sakai.). * Anisolabis maritima ishigakiensis Sakai & Kohno, 1999 was originally described in this paper, but I recommend that this paper should not be referred to since it contains a lot of problems.

Sakai, S. (2000) Earwigs of Japan. Forficula, 6: 1-158. (In Japanese). Published by Seiroku Sakai.

Sakai, S. & Takahashi, K. (1998) Taxonomic Notes on Some Recent Studies on the Order Dermaptera, with Description of a New Genus, Metalabella (Spongiphoridae). Bulletin of the Biogeographical Society of Japan 53 (1): 53-56.

Sawada, K. (1995) Dermaptera. In Nishimura, S. (Ed.) Guide to Seashore Animals of Japan, with Color Pictures and Keys, II: 448-450. (In Japanese)

Shiraki, T. (1928) Dermapteren aus dem Kaiserreich Japan. Insecta Matsumurana, 3 (1): 1-25.

Shiraki, T. (1905) Neue Forficuliden Japans. Transactions of the Sapporo Natural History Society 1: 91-96, pl. 3.

Shiraki, T. (1905-6) Neue Forficuliden und Blattiden Japans. Transactions of the Sapporo Natural History Society 1 (2): 1-14.

Shiraki, T. (1907) Neue Blattiden und Forficuliden Japans. Transactions of the Sapporo Natural History Society 2: 103-111.

Srivastava, G. K. (1995) On the classification of Spongiphoridae (= Labiidae) with a list of species. Records of the zoological Survey of India 95 (1-2): 71-105.

Srivastava, G. K. (1999) On the higher classification of Anisolabididae (Insecta: Dermaptera) with a check-list of genera and species. Records of the zoological Survey of India 97 (1): 73-100.

Steinmann, H. (1985) The Dermaptera material of the Zoological Institute and Museum, Yerevan. Folia entomologica hungaria 46 (1): 165-170.

Steinmann, H. (1989) World Catalogue of Dermaptera. 934pp. Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Steinmann, H. (1993) Dermaptera, Eudermaptera II. Das Tierreich, 108. 711pp. Walter de Gruyter-Berlin-New York.

Tabata, I. (1997) Data on the distribution of the Dermaptera (1). Kita-Kyushu-no-Konchû, 44 (1):103-104, pl.10.

Tadauchi, O. (1989) Dermaptera. In Hirashima, Y. (Ed), A Check List of Japanese Insects. I: 59-60. Ent. Lab., Faculty of Agr., Kyushu Univ., Fukuoka and Japan Wildlife Res. Center, Tokyo. (In Japanese).

Takahashi, K. (2002) Distributional notes on the earwigs from Japan according to prefecture and islands. Battarigisu, (128): 1-7. (In Japanese).

Terata, K. & Sakai, S. (1989) The third forma of Anechura harmandi (Burr) (Forficulidae, Dermaptera). Bulletin of the Biogeographical Society of Japan 44: 145-150.

Wada, I. 2002. Does Emma not found in Izu-Ôshima Island: in Hachijo-jima Island?! Battarigisu, (128): 20-27. (In Japanese).

Detailed information on the earwig fauna is available in the databases and in the link list.

Alphabetic List of Species

Species Author Vernacular Name Japanese Distribution in Japan Notes
Pygidicranidae: Challinae
1 Challia imamurai Nishikawa, 2006* Mukashi-Hasamimushi Yaku-shima Is., O-shima Is. * Formely recorded as C. fletcheri Burr
Pygidicranidae: Prolabiscinae
2 Parapsalis infernalis (Burr, 1913) - - Nakanoshima Is., Takara-jima Is., Amami-Ôshima Is., Yoron-jima Is., Okinawa-jima Is.*, Iriomote-jima Is.*

* Not recorded, but I have seen the specimens collected from these Islands.

Diplatyidae: Diplatyinae
3 Diplatys flavicollis Shiraki, 1907 Douboso-Hasamimushi Ishigaki-jima Is., Iriomote-jima Is. -
Anisolabididae: Anisolabidinae (classification follows Srivastava, 1999)
4 Anisolabella marginalis (Dohrn, 1864) Higejiro-Hasamimushi Whole of Japan, except Hokkaido = Gonolabis marginalis Steinmann, 1989
5 Anisolabella ryukyuensis (Nishikawa, 1969) Ryukyu-Higejiro- Hasamimushi Amami-Ôshima Is., Okinawa-jima Is., Ishigaki-jima Is. = Anisolabis ryukyuensis Steinmann, 1989
6 Anisolabis maritima (Bonelli, 1832) Hamabe- Hasamimushi (Hasamimushi) Whole of Japan -
6a Anisolabis maritima ishigakiensis Sakai & Kohno, 2000 (?1999) - - Ishigaki-jima Is. ? = ssp. piceus
6b Anisolabis maritima longiforceps (Sakai, 1996) - Hokkaido, Shizuoka, Kyoto, Mie, Tokushima*, Miyazaki*, Kagoshima*, Tanegashima Is., Miyako-jima Is., Tarama-jima Is., Ishigaki-jima Is., Iriomote-jima Is., Minami-daitô-jima Is.,

* Not recorded, but I have specimens.

= forma 3 Kohno, 1999
6c Anisolabis maritima piceus (Shiraki, 1905) Yaniiro-Hasamimushi (= Ogasawara-Hasamimushi ) Ogasawara Is. (=Bonin Is.) Ishigaki-jima Is. = forma 2 Kohno, 1999
6d Anisolabis maritima f. microforceps Sakai, 1996 - - Aomori, Yamanashi, Tokyo ? = lesser form
6e Anisolabis maritima forma 1 Kohno, 1999 - Ishigaki-jima Is. ? = A. maritima maritima
7 Euborellia annulata (Fabricius, 1793) - - Ogasawara Is. (=Bonin Is.): Chichi-jima Is.*, Haha-jima Is.** ? = E. plebeja *See Vickery, 1977: 309. **See Miyano, 1998: 5.
8 Euborellia annulipes (Lucas, 1847) Ko-Higejiro-Hasamimusi Whole of Japan except Hokkaido. This species not so common recently in Japan.
9 Euborellia plebeja (Dohrn, 1863) Kobane-Hasamimushi Whole of Japan except Hokkaido. = E. pallipes (Shiraki)
10 Euborellia woodwardi (Burr, 1908) - Japan?: Kangawa? (Mus. Berlin, 1911 Zacher) (Sakai, Japan?)* * See Sakai, 1970: 44.
11 Mongolabis distincta (Nishikawa, 1969) Minami-Marumune- Hasamimushi Kuchi-no-shima Is., Amami-Ôshima Is., Yoron-jima Is., Okinawa-jima Is. = Gonolabis distincta Steinmann, 1989
Labiduridae: Nalinae
12 Nala lividipes (Dufour, 1829) Hime-Hasamimushi Kobe*(? accidental), Amami-Ôshima Is., Okinawa-jima Is., Ishigaki-jima Is., Yonaguni-jima Is. *See Hebard, 1933: 142 (1 female).
13 Nala (?) sp. Sawada, 1955 Hoso-Hime-Hasamimushi Honshu* (seashore) *See Sawada, 1995: 450, fig. 21.
Labiduridae: Labidurinae
14 Labidura riparia (Pallas, 1773) Oo-Hasamimushi Whole of Japan = L. riparia japonica Tadauchi, 1989; Sakai, 2000
Spongiphoridae: Labiinae (classification follows Srivastava, 1995)
15 Chaetospania hexagonalis Nishikawa, 200X Hina-Hasamimushi Amami-Ôshima Is., Okinawa-jima Is. in: M. Nishikawa. Biogeography 8:25-34
16 Labia minor (Linnaeus, 1758) Mijin-Hasamimushi Whole of Japan
17 Paralabellula curvicauda (Motschulsky, 1863)* Chibi-Hasamimushi Saitama, Tokyo*, Kanagawa*, Toyama, Fukui, Ogasawara Is., (=Bonin Is.), Iwo-jima Is., South-Western Is. between Kyushu and Taiwan.

It is mentioned that this species distribute in Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu in many Japanese articles but I have not seen the specimens collected from these localities except above locations marked with an asteriks.

* The scientific name follows Kevan & Vickery, 1977.


= Paralabella curvicauda Steinmann, 1989

= Metalabella curvicauda Sakai & Takahashi, 1998

= Circolabia curvicauda Srivastava, 1995

Spongiphoridae: Spongiphorinae (classification follows Srivastava, 1995)
18 Spongovostox sakaii Nishikawa, 2006 Sakai-Yotuboshi- Hasamimushi Amami-Ôshima Is. in: M. Nishikawa. Biogeography 8:25-34.
Spongiphoridae: Nesogastorinae
19 Nesogaster lewisi (Bormans, 1903) Kuro-Hasamimushi Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Ehime, Tokushima. -
Chelisochidae: Chelisochinae
20 Proreus simulans (Stål, 1860) Suji-Hasamimushi Amami-Ôshima Is., Tokunoshima Is., Okinoerabu-jima Is., Okinawa-jima Is., Kume-jima Is., Miyako-jima Is., Ishigaki-jima Is., Iriomote-jima Is., Yonaguni-jima Is., Minami-Daito-jima Is. -
Forficulidae: Opisthocosminae
21 Eparchus yezoensis (Matsumura and Shiraki 1905) Ezo-Hasamimushi Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu, Tsushima Is. -
22 Eparchus dux (Bormans, 1894)* - - ? * See Chen & Ma, 2004: 242.
23 Timomenus aesculapius (Burr, 1905)* - - ? * See Chen & Ma, 1988: 57; Hua, 2000: 60.
24 Timomenus komarovi (Semenov, 1901) Momoguro Hasamimushi (Momobuto Hasamimushi) Tsushima Is. -
25 Timomenus lugens (Bormans, 1894)* - - ? * See Chen & Ma, 1988: 57; 2004: 231; Ma & Chen, 1992: 102; Hua, 2000: 60.
26 Paratimomenus flavocapitatus (Shiraki, 1906) Kigashira- Hasamimushi ?Saga, Yaku-shima Is., Amami-Ôshima Is., Tokunoshima Is. -
Forficulidae: Anechurinae
27 Anechura harmandi (Burr, 1907) Kobu-Hasamimushi (Aruman-Kobu- Hasamimushi) Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu -
27a Anechura harmandi f. harmandi (Burr, 1904) - Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku -
27b Anechura harmandi f.lewisi (Burr, 1904) - Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku -
27c Anechura harmandi f. soedaensis Terata & Sakai, 1989 - Kyushu -
28 Anechura japonica (Bormans, 1880) Yamato-Kobu- Hasamimushi ?Saitama, ?Toyama, ?Fukui, ?Yamaguchi, ?Miyazaki, Kyushu (Kujû Highland* in Ooita Pref.).

It is mentioned that this species occurs in Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu in many Japanese articles but I have not seen the specimens collected from these localities except above location marked with an asteriks.

It was originally described by Bormans based on 1 male and 1 female collected at the seashore in Japan. *See Tabata, 1997: 103.
Forficulidae: Forficulinae
29 Elaunon bipartitus (Kirby, 1891) Suji-Hasamimushi Modoki N. Kantô district (Watarase-Yûsuichi)* * Formely recorded as Proreus simulans (Stål)
30 Forficula hiromasai Nishikawa, 1970 Kuginuki- Hasamimushi Izu Isls. (Hachijo-jima Is.), Kagoshima (Cape Sata-misaki), Danjo-guntô Is. (O-shima Is., Me-shima Is.), Kuchi-no-shima Is., Naka-no-shima Is., Takara-jima Is., Amami-Ôshima Is., Okinawa-jima Is., ? Yonaguni-jima Is.* * probably F. planicollis Kirby
31 Forficula mikado Burr 1904 Kibane-Hasamimushi Hokkaido, Honshu (Northern part from Central Honshu) -
32 Forficula paratomis Steinmann, 1985 - - Hokkaido (20km N from Sapporo)*. This species was originally described by Steinmann on the basis of specimens from Armenia and Japan. However, he did not mention Japan in the distribution of this species in his World Catalogue in 1989. * See Steinmann, 1985: 169. ? = F. scudderi
33 Forficula planicollis Kirby, 1891 Nise-Minami- Kuginuki- Hasamimushi Yonaguni-jima Is.* (New record) * MS submitted on April, 2006.
34 Forficula scudderi Bormans, 1880 Kuginuki Hasamimushi Hokkaido, Honshu (Northern part from Central Honshu) F. tomis scudderi Sakai, 2000
35 Forficula vicaria Semenov, 1902* - - ? * See Chen & Ma, 1988: 57; 2004: 329; Ma & Chen, 1992: 102; 1997: 181; Steinmann, 1993: 631; Hua, 2000: 60.

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