Landcare Research - Manaaki Whenua

Landcare-Research -Manaaki Whenua

European earwig

Forficula auricularia Linnaeus

Order: Dermaptera
Family: Forficulidae

Size range

  • 10–20 mm


  • Introduced, common in gardens in summer

Life History

  • Overwinter underground
  • Omnivorous, feed on plant or animal material
  • May damage fruit near ground e.g. strawberries
  • Preys on smaller insects
  • Nocturnal
  • First recorded in New Zealand 1898
  • Has wings concealed under wing covers but seldom flies
  • Pincers for capture of prey and defence – could give a bite if cornered