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We don't often think of insects as moms, probably because so many species simply drop their eggs and walk away.

This week we found one of the exceptions to this rule.

earwig-mom1

We found several earwig moms under bricks in the yard. They had each made a tunnel and laid eggs.

earwig-eggs

This one left for a minute when I disturbed her by taking her photo, leaving the eggs exposed for a moment. She came right back and I covered her up again.

earwig-nymphs

Hopefully she'll be able to produce some young nymphs as the mother under a nearby rock had done. The nymphs stay with their mothers for awhile.

Earwig mothers just in time for Mother's Day 🙂

For more information about earwigs:

Earlier post

Earwigs (Blastoff! Readers: World of Insects) by Colleen Sexton


Disclosures: The book was from our local library. Also, I am an affiliate for Amazon. If you click through the linked titles or ads and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. Proceeds will be used to maintain this self-hosted blog.

Our bug this week has an interesting name: earwig. The etymology of the name is almost as interesting as the entomology of the insect. I have read that the word comes from everything from a corruption of 'perwig' meaning "to scold" ( I guess because of their agressive-looking tail posture), to the old English 'earwicga' which means "ear beetle." The mythology surrounding the name is even more varied, but I won't go into it here.

It's rather chilly this week, but there's always activity in the compost heap. That's where I found the earwigs.

earwig

Earwigs have a pair of forceps-like pincers at the end of their abdomen.

earwig

They tend to avoid the light and scurry away.

earwig

The youngsters look just like tiny adults.

earwig

Although the tail looks formidable, this species is harmless. There are some species that can give a pinch if they are picked up, however, so always use caution around insects you haven't had experience with before.

These earwigs are scavengers. They are often active at night and hide in crevices or under things during the day. They also like dampness.

Where do you find earwigs?