Earwig is the common name given to the insect order Dermaptera, characterized by membranous wings folded underneath short forewings, hence the literal translation of the order being "skin wings". The abdomen extends beyond the wings, and frequently ends in a pair of forceps-like structures called cerci. The order is relatively small among Insecta, with about 1,800 recorded species in 12 families. Earwigs are found in the Americas and Europe. There is no evidence that they transmit disease to humans or other animals.
Most earwigs found in Europe and North America are of the species Forficula auricularia, the European or common earwig, which is distributed throughout the cooler parts of the northern hemisphere. This species feeds on other arthropods, plants, ripe fruit, and garbage. Plants that they feed on typically include clover, dahlias,zinnias, butterfly bush, hollyhock, lettuce, cauliflower, strawberry,sunflowers, celery, peaches, plums, grapes, potatoes, roses, seedling beans and beets, and tender grass shoots and roots; they have also been known to eat corn silk, damaging the corn. Typically they are a nuisance because of their diet, but normally do not present serious hazards to crops. Some tropical species are brightly colored. Occasionally earwigs are confused with cockroaches because of their cerci and their long antennae.
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