Latin name: Dermaptera

Meaning: The name Dermaptera, derived from the Greek “derma” meaning skin and “ptera” meaning wings, refers to the thickened forewings that cover and protect the hind wings. 1

Common name: The common name “earwig” is derived from an old superstition that these insects crawl into people’s ears at night and burrow into the brain. There is no truth to this myth. 1

Date/Location of specimen:

Description: Earwigs have characteristic cerci, a pair of forceps pincers on their abdomen, and membranous wings folded underneath short forewings, hence the scientific order name, “skin wings.” Most earwigs are nocturnal and inhabit small crevices, living in small amounts of debris, in various forms such as bark and fallen logs.2

Pest/Disease & Gardening Limitations: A few species, if abundant, may damage the blossoms of ornamental plants by chewing on stamens or petals.1


Collection Sample # 2 of 8 INSECTS

Master Gardener Class Horticulture Portfolio