The Earwigs of the United Kingdom

Checklist of the 4 species occurring in the United Kingdom and 3 introduced species


Author: Fabian Haas

In the whole UK, and Ireland too, there is only a very limited number of species, and only a few are occasionally introduced. All of them can be identified with the following descriptions and photographs. Worldwide about 2.200 species are known to science, and in the range of the Fauna Europaea, 83 species are recorded.

British Earwig Faunas

Hincks WD (1949) Dermaptera and Orthoptera. Handbook for the Identification of British Insects, 1 (Part 5): 21.

Marshall JA, Haes ECM (1988) Grasshoppers and Allied Insects of Great Britain and Ireland. 254pp.

There are also a lot of locations for the UK in GBIF.

Further information on the British earwig fauna is available in the data bases and in the link list.


To retrieve all distribution records for the UK click here ...

Alphabetic List of Species

Spongiphoridae

Systematics Description and Information
Spongiphoridae: Labiinae ... to the Photos
Labia minor (Linnaeus, 1758) Small or Lesser Earwig
Locus Typicus: "Europa" [sic] -
Some Synonyms:

Forficula minor Linnaeus, 1758

Copiscelis minor Fieber, 1853

Forficesila minor Frivaldsky, 1867

Forficula livida Zschach, 1788

Labia minuta Scudder, 1876

Forficulidae

Systematics Description and Information
Forficulidae: Forficulinae ... to the Photos
Apterygida media (Hagenbach, 1822) Short-winged or Hop-garden Earwig
Locus Typicus: Switzerland -
Some Synonyms:

Apterygida albipennis (Megerle, 1825)

Apterygida pedestris Westwood, 1840

Forficula media Hagenbach, 1822

Chelidura curta Fischer, 1846

Sphingolabis albipennis Megerle, 1825

Systematics Description and Information
Forficulidae: Forficulinae ... to the Photos
Forficula auricularia Linnaeus, 1758 Common Earwig, European Earwig
Locus Typicus: "Europa" [sic] -
Some Synonyms:

Forficula borealis Leach, 1835

Forficula caucasica Kolenati, 1846

Forficula parallela Fabricius, 1775

Forficula dentata Fabricius, 1775

Systematics Description and Information
Forficulidae: Forficulinae ... to the Photos
Forficula lesnei Finot, 1887 Lesne's Earwig
Locus Typicus: France -
Some Synonyms:

none

Spongiphoridae

Systematics Description and Information
Spongiphoridae: Labiinae ... to the Photos
Marava arachidis (Yersin, 1860) Chief or Bone-house Earwig
Locus Typicus: France -
Some Synonyms:

Apterygida gravidula Gerstäcker, 1873

Apterygida arachidis Bormans, 1900

Forficula nigripennis Motschulsky, 1863

Labiduridae

Systematics Description and Information
Labiduridae: Labidurinae ... to the Photos
Labidura riparia (Pallas, 1773) Striped, Giant or Tawny Earwig
Locus Typicus: Sibiria/Russia -
Some Synonyms:

Apterygida huseini Rehn, 1901

Forficesila affinis Guérin-Méneville, 1836

Forficesila gigantea Burmeister, 1838

Forficesila icterica Audinet-Serville, 1839

Largest British species (25-30 mm) which cannot be confounded with other species. However, it is probably extinct.

The colouration is rather variable in colour and pattern, usually the cerci are darker than the rest of the body. Tegmina are always present, and the wings do surpass them to a variing degree; in flight capable specimens they are particularly long.

The shapes of the female and male cerci in the Striped Earwig are rather similar, which is in contrast to many other species.

This species is exclusively predaceous and feeds mainly on other arthropods. Occasionally it is used in pest controled or its potential for this is examined.

Ansiolabididae

Systematics Description and Information
Anisolabididae: Carcinophorinae ... to the Photos
Euborellia annulipes (Lucas, 1847) Ring-legged Earwig
Locus Typicus: France -
Some Synonyms:

Anisolabis annulipes (Lucas, 1847)

Anisolabis aporonoma Borelli, 1910

Anisolabis fallax Shiraki, 1906

Forficesila annulipes Lucas, 1847

Forficula equestris Gene, 1837

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Web site designed and authored by Fabian Haas 08.07.2007