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Good article Earwig has been listed as one of the Natural sciences good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
September 8, 2009 Good article nominee Not listed
December 2, 2009 Good article nominee Listed
Current status: Good article
WikiProject Insects (Rated GA-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Insects, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of insects on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
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Don't you think that the OED have just been taken in by the myth about crawling in ears? Perhaps the myth simply stems from the name, together with most people never seeing them with their wings out. Billlion 14:26, 2 Aug 2004 (UTC)

The OED is about as authoritative as one can find - it would take a recent article in a leading peer-reviewed journal to justify spreading any doubts about etymology. Stan 16:48, 2 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I have actually experienced having an earwig in my ear and have felt nothing as painful as it in my entire life. My friend's mum is a nurse and had no idea what was wrong (no one saw anything at all, I just fell to the floor screaming at the pain) and after about 20 minutes of her trying to arrange an ambulance an inch long ear wig fell out of my ear. Supposedly something similar happened to my step dad previously as well but I hadn't heard of it before. 04:22, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

I, too, have experienced having an earwig in my ear on two occasions. It happened both times while I was sleeping. When I jumped up and told my wife that something was in my ear, she assumed that I was having a dream. However, I assured her that I wasn't. The insect was moving around in my ear and it sounded like tree branches breaking. I rushed to the bathroom and my wife looked in my ear but could not see anything which made her think that I was indeed dreaming. I told her to pour some Hydrogen Peroxide in my ear, which she did. The earwig then started wiggling frantically and it tried to crawl out of my ear. Needless to say, my wife was suprised. It was about 1" long. It had bit me or otherwise lacerated my ear canal because blood was in my ear and it hurt for several days. About two months later, I had a similar experience. Earwigs most definitely will crawl into ears. Gardeners take advantage of their tendency for crawling into tubular spaces by setting out thin pipes in infested areas. They then shake the earwigs that have crawled into the pipes into a container containing kerosene, typically. I have used this "organic" method of earwig control myself and it is very effective. —Preceding unsigned comment added by ZoneIII (talkcontribs) 17:15, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

What do earwigs eat?[edit]

In the last few months I have seen more earwigs than the rest of my life. These have almost all been when going through boxes of books. Do earwigs eat paper or can they in any way harm books? --Anon

Maybe you saw the silverfish, which look somewhat like earwig and do feast on paper? Earwigs don't eat paper, as far as I know. I don't even know if they can survive in cardboard boxes. They'd probably just dry out/starve. --Menchi 09:18, 23 July 2005 (UTC)
Yes, but what do they actually eat? It should be in the article. Also, I assume the info about going inside people's ears and laying eggs is false, so perhaps we should specifically state that they are harmless? Johntex\talk 20:44, 10 April 2006 (UTC)
Added info on their diet... Ray Trygstad 05:52, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

I kept a small number of earwigs in a mini habitat and I think one was canabalised but I am not sure.
I though they were harmlees till one day I was taking the seeds out of a sunflower and got what felt like a bee sting only worse, i smashed the earwig, the next day my finger was very swollen, infected and painfull. don't know what they keep on there pinchers but its not very good for humans. I also find quit a few in my ears of corn. earwigs? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:55, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

legitimate ickyness to them?[edit]

Other than the wives' tale about earwigs burrowing into peoples' ears, is there any legitimate concern to be ickied out by them? Their color really is reminiscient of that of a cockroach's color, so the first thing I think of is they carry disease. Of course, this is probably an association fallacy, but this is why I am asking anyway. -- 08:46, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Added info on this; not known to carry disease nor to ham human beings. They're mosly just icky. Ray Trygstad 05:54, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

Is there an earwig season? I too have been seeing a lot of them, its quite disturbing. Also, what about controlling their population?


So is the myth here actually a myth, or do they actually crawl into people's ears? This is what I came to this page to find out, and the info wasn't there...I know what my intuition tells me (NO) but I'm no biologist and I can't be sure...any help here? 12:49, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

As my professor said "Well, not anymore than any other random insect would want to crawl into your ear, I suppose"--Kugamazog 13:22, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

I just wanted to let the "world" know that "Earwigs" can and "DO" crawl into peoples ears! Just this past week I was awakened by such an experience! If U'd like a full account feel Free to contact me, email removed Yes they can crawl into your ear, but not to burrow into your head, its looking for a place to spend the day, if your mouth wasnt so hot it would probably go there too —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:49, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Earwigs most certainly DO crawl into peoples' ears. I have experienced it twice. See my description (above). I find it suprising that people claim that it is simply a myth that earwigs crawl in peoples' ears. I suppose those who say that simply haven't had it happen to them. But that is no reason to state that it doesn't happen. It DOES happen. I know from two personal experiences. Earwigs are known to like to crawl into holes and ears fit the bill. In fact, their tendency to crawl into tubular areas is exploited by knowledgeable gardeners who set up small pipes or tubes which earwigs then crawl into. ZoneIII (talk)

Earwigs DO crawl in people's ears, and from the 4 people it has happened to, there is a lot of pain and blood involved. Three teachers I work with were telling their own tales of pain and ear aches and waking in the middle of the night with blood streaming out of their ears. What came crawling out were ear wigs. Another told of the time when she remembered being in unbearable pain and screaming in her bed when she was six and being rushed to the hospital. What did the doctor pull out? A inch long earwig! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:00, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

So, how does this all directly relate to improving the article?--Mr Fink (talk) 02:17, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

I have restored (again) the sourced statement that earwigs probably do crawl into the human ear. It relates directly to improving the article because, for most readers, the most important issue about earwigs is whether they crawl into the ear and cause harm. The article dispels the myth about burrowing into the brain to lay eggs. However, with several European languages linking their words for this particular insect with their words for the ear, the etymology suggests strongly that earwigs have crawled into ears across Europe for centuries. Farmers probably saw these insects crawling into or out of the ears of livestock, and probably human ears too. Earwigs probably do not cause serious injury (even perforated eardrums usually heal on their own), but if you see an earwig crawling near an ear, or if an earwig bites your eardrum, the issue will suddenly become very important to you - and vital to the article. TVC 15 (talk) 01:16, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

I noticed today that Amorymeltzer had made three edits that resulted in the deletion of this information. The first edit changed the source link;[1] the next moved the source link;[2]; finally, the third deleted the information as unsourced (because the source link had been moved).[3] I assume good faith, and that the deletion was inadvertent error amid a larger series of edits.TVC 15 (talk) 20:13, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Number of Species?[edit]

So is it 1800 or 900? Contradictory information. The 900 figure does not specify whether it is for any genus or any family or any other part of the order.AshLin 03:02, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

According to [4] there are about 2,200 species of earwigs, which would seem to lend credence to the upper number currently on the Wikipedia page. Mikya 03:14, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

I was taking down a plant last night and a earwig dropped down into my ear and crawled in. It was horrible and I at first I didn't know what was happening and thought it was water. Then I could feel it biting and or scratching inside my ear. I ran to the bathroom and used a quetip but then realized it really was a bug. I started shaking my head and pounding on it and a earwig fell onto the floor. This is the next day and my ear hurts like a bite inside. I am thinking of cleaning it with something as I am afraid a leg or something was left behind. My son stepped on it when it landed on the floor last night. (talk) 17:38, 16 September 2008 (UTC)


Some joker at User: renamed the section "Entymological etymology". Of course, there's no such word as entymological. Derek Balsam 14:47, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Or maybe it's a misspelling of entomological, as entomology is the scientific study of insects. --Ekaiyu 03:59, 12 July 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I am sure that was the intended meaning of the joke. But either way jokes don't belong as section headings. Derek Balsam 13:20, 12 July 2006 (UTC)


I would just like to go on record as stating that these buggers sting, bite, whatever, with those pincers. I just got tagged pretty good by one I was getting off my leg while I was half-asleep. Holes on my finger tip went deep enough to draw blood, and in pretty serious drops when I squeezed it. Hurt, too. Clotted quickly, though- no diameter, of course. Like being stabbed by a pair of thumbtacks. -- JS

You are correct, JS. My ear canal was bloody and sore for days after an earwig crawled into it. ZoneIII (talk)

OMG :P -- Obradović Goran (talk 22:07, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
That's what I said. -- JS

An anonymous author added the following unsourced statement regarding the name "pincher bug:" "This name more likely relates to the incorrect belief that these creatures bite with their pinchers." Although the anonymous author may have intended a very narrow and undisclosed definition of "bite," I reverted the statement based on the linkable article asserting that the cerci "are used to open the wings, to capture prey and for defence." [5] With 1,800 species, cerci may vary considerably. The linked source and the personal report by JS above are consistent with my own observation of a particularly nasty pair of hooked cerci snapping at me a few hours ago, and that probably could not have reached the abbreviated/modified wings of the full-grown creature. In fact, I wonder if the unsourced statement "There is no evidence that they transmit disease or otherwise harm humans...." should also be removed. As noted elsewhere in this discussion, they do sometimes crawl into the ear canal, and could theoretically perforate an eardrum (or precipitate a coronary if you saw one crawling out of your ear...) TVC 15 11:25, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Earwigs and the ear[edit]

Someone had vandalised the article with this:

"Insert: – — … ° ≈ ± − × ÷ ← → · § Sign your name: Glb310 08:03, 1 October 2006 (UTC) *** Myth Buster. One day I felt a painful pinching feeling and dull “cloudy” sound (from movement of its feet) and applied a heating pad and then went to bed. When I turned over my girlfriend, who was watching over me, saw a bug exit my left ear and caught it inside of a jar. We later identified it as an earwig. We believe it entered my ear something during the day while riding in a convertible. Thank you."

I removed the vandalism. Obviously this guy thinks he's good to have a convertible.

Anyway, I thought I'd put the claims in here as a test.

~~not sure who wrote the above comments, TVC 15 comments start below~~

Although the narrative above sounds like original research (not allowed because not linkable), it may have a basis in truth. I'm adding a sourced statement that earwigs probably do crawl into the ear, since they like hiding in dark moist places.[6] In addition, if the bug crawled in backwards or somehow got turned around in the ear canal, those pincers could easily perforate the eardrum. I'm not suggesting that would actually happen, and the myth about laying eggs in the brain is reportedly only a myth, but the bugs are reportedly omnivorous and the idea of having one in the ear is understandably scary. I've just caught one in my bedroom in the middle of the night, crawling down the wall, and even though I squashed it nearly an hour ago the cerci are still reaching out and pincing. TVC 15 09:08, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Update July 26, 2007: An anonymous editor recently deleted my sourced statement that earwigs probably do crawl into the ear. (S)he claimed they don't, saying there have been studies, but provided no links to such studies. I have restored the sourced statement that they probably do, because it is linkable and consistent with others' reported experience. (Also, I'm not sure how a study could prove they don't crawl into the ear. Would you put a subject's head into a box full of earwigs and wait to see if any crawl into the ear? I'm not volunteering for that study!)

I also deleted the misleading statement that an insect could not burrow through a skull in its lifetime. If you look at a skull, you may observe there are holes for the auditory canals:

So, an insect would not need to burrow through the skull. Earwig pincers could easily perforate the tympanic membrane (eardrum), and then the omnivorous bug could conceivably crawl through. I am not saying it would do that, I am only saying it would not need to burrow through solid bone.

In my opinion, the bottom line on ears and etymology is this: earwigs probably have been crawling into people's ears at least occasionally over the centuries, and if you are a medieval farmer and you see one of these things crawling out of your head, you'll absolutely wig out. Hence the name, earwig.TVC 15 10:17, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

tip on getting rid of them[edit]

"Putting vegetable oil in a pie tin and burying it up to the rim of the tin is an effective way of capturing them. The oil can then be reused in the tin after disposing of the earwigs."

Um, is this really sanitary? The reusing the oil part. Should that even be included? This is an encyclopedia, not a guide on how to be miserly. Robin Chen 07:36, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

I think what they mean is you can reuse the oil to catch more earwigs. --Kmsiever 16:28, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

I just discovered a way to kill those little nasties. I know they are supposed to be helpful in eating live and dead bugs in your yard, but they are all over the place. A neighbor told me about spraying the soffit of our home with Pine Sol to get rid of spiders. So we tried it and sprayed it on our daughters Step One Swing Set. Guess what, no more spiders. Well, it's another year and I just went out and sprayed the Swing Set again...this time earwigs came crawling out of every hiding space possible. GROSS!!! But they didn't last long against the Pine Sol. Of course, I probably didn't kill every one of them and this might not be a great fix for a garden or what not, but it would work great in those odd places those little creeps hide! Hope this helps somebody. KrissyG646 (talk) 20:38, 28 June 2008 (UTC)Kristine

Live without food?[edit]

How long can a earwig resist without food. I caught one in one of my books and kept it in a bottle. Today, it's a week since then, and it's still alive and kickin'. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 08:06, 16 December 2006 (UTC).

It's been 8 days since I trapped it in the bottle. I think it's dead: no move whatsoever. Should I assume they can live about a week without food or water?

I was wrong. It's not dead. It's alive, I guess. Those cercis are still moving. However, the rest of the body does not appear to be alive. Could this be some kind of reflex?

Please read Wikipedia's policy on original research. You can conclude what you like, but any results of your experiments cannot be included in Wikipedia unless and until they are published. --Stemonitis 15:36, 20 December 2006 (UTC)


Do we want to put in the etymology? Middle English erwig, from Old English arwicga : are, ear ; wicga, insect; see wegh- in Indo-European roots

Could there be a list of other common names? When I was a child I couldn't look up this insect in my 'cyclopedia because it's not called an 'earwig' here. I didn't hear that name until I'd been at primary school some years, and then only by accident, and of course on hearing it, didn't know which insect it referred to. Our name for it was much nicer - the delightful "clipshear". This certainly applies in south Scotland and parts of northern England, but I was told later there may be as many as 50 common names for this insect in its various forms in Britain alone. Too many?

Just a question: while reading this article, the 3d paragraph under "Etymology" seemed a bit over the top. Really wasn't looking for a lengthy lesson, just a reasonably good idea of the word's source. The balance of the article is quite good, but the 3d para. @ Etymology rather too much like my old law professor gone off on a tangent ;-) (talk) 08:52, 26 August 2009 (UTC)Neon_Tango

FYI: The etymology here is quite dubious. Earwigs are common pests in cereal crops--crops that have ears. The "Ear" in earwig is not a human ear, it is an ear of grain. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:57, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

Are they hitch hikers?[edit]

My bird feeder (in Colorado, USA)is suspended in such a way that that the 3 to 5 earwigs I find there each week could only have hitched a ride on the sparrows that visit or fly themselves there. Is it likely that they will fly to get to a bird feeder filled with, among other things, shelled sunflower seeds? Doug 9/14/07 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:25, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Don't underestimate the climbing abilities of earwigs. Still, how is your birdfeeder suspended?--Mr Fink 16:29, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the reply. In answer to your question above: It hangs by a 14-guage wire from a 2-foot iron bar attached and pointed away from the railing of a redwood deck on 4x4 supports off the second-story of my home about 15 feet away from the wall of the house. The feeder is at least 18 feet off the ground and the birds perch (slipping all the time) on the iron bar. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:20, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Maybe you could keep them out by smearing vaseline on the wire every so often?--Mr Fink 14:43, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

I'll try the vaseline on the rod that the birds perch on too... for the entertainment value! :-) Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:43, 2 November 2007 (UTC)


There seem to be quite a few acts of vandalism to this article. I counted roughly 40 occurrences of either 'rvt', 'undid', or 'revert' in the last 150 edits. This is approximately 27%, which is significantly higher than the 5% protection guidelines mention. This abuse seems endemic to the article due to the perceived 'ickiness' of the subject matter. Most reverted edits are anonymous. Might requesting indefinite semi-protection be an idea? Evlshout (talk) 12:25, 8 May 2008 (UTC)


does anyone else think that the distinct smell of earwigs should be on this? it is highly unpleasant —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:23, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

I agree. I wish I could find the source I read again, but their powerful venom also acts as some sort of pheromone. When they feel threatened, or when frequently attacking unprovoked, it signals other earwigs in the area to assist. That's why after one bites/stings you, more will usually be seen in the area after a few minutes. -- (talk) 05:43, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Why did someone revert this? After hours searching, I found the source, unfortunately I can't find the full article available online: -- (talk) 16:32, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Popculture Section[edit]

Removed; this is irrelevant. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:12, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Warm or Cold?[edit]

In the beginning of the article it says they like warm, wet crevices, and in the pest control section it says they prefer cool, moist places. So earwig experts take notice. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:48, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

I noticed that too... should be changed. (talk) 17:13, 28 February 2009 (UTC)


Do they make you sick when you get bitten or pinched by one? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:42, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

No.--Mr Fink (talk) 05:13, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Combine with Forficula auricularia page?[edit]

I'm thinking this page should be combined with the Forficula_auricularia (European Earwig already redirect there). Kevink707 (talk) 18:26, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Sounds good to me. Pterre (talk) 19:20, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Pinching with the cerci[edit]

Is there any information on which species do/don't use their cerci as weapons? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bizzybody (talkcontribs) 07:16, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

For other uses?[edit]

How do you use an earwig? Or is it a use of the word?Abce2|Aww nuts!Wribbit!(Sign here) 20:01, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Yes, it's for other uses of the word. See WP:HAT and {{otheruses}} for more information. The Earwig (Talk | Contribs) 22:39, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Earwig/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Hi, I'll be reviewing this article. The rules for GA reviews are stated at Good Article criteria. I usually do reviews in the order: coverage; structure; detailed walk-through of sections (refs, prose, other details); images (after the text content is stable); lead (ditto). Feel free to respond to my comments under each one, and please sign each response, so that it's clear who said what.

When an issue is resolved, I'll mark it with  Done. If I think an issue remains unresolved after responses / changes by the editor(s), I'll mark it Not done. Occasionally I decide one of my comments is off-target, and strike it out.

BTW I've occasionally had edit conflicts in review pages, and to reduce this risk I'd be grateful if you'd let me know when you're most active, so I can avoid these times.

Thanks for nominating this article. Most editors with an interest in biology nominate only species articles, because higher-level taxa need more research, and as a result WP's articles on higher-level taxa are mediocre. --Philcha (talk) 21:51, 11 August 2009 (UTC)


I'm afraid I'm seeing some top-level gaps that jump at me:

  • The description seems to cover only the European or common earwig and possibly other members of Forficulina - nothing about the other 2 extant sub-orders. Off the top I'd expect the ectoparasitic life style to involve: differences in limbs, for hanging on; differences in mouthparts and possibly digestive system, depending on what they eat; differences in reproduction, as finding mates must be more difficult for them since they don't just wander around in leaf litter or its human-made equivalents. --Philcha (talk) 22:51, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
  • This is true, and I'll do some research to see if there's anything that can be done to fill the gap. Let me just point out first that we probably don't need to pay much attention to the other two suborders — they play a significantly small role in the order itself, and are rarely seen. I'll see what I can do, nonetheless. The Earwig (Talk | Contribs) 20:44, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Exactly how do the ectoparasites parasitise bats and rodents? E.g. by sucking blood? --Philcha (talk) 22:51, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
  • I would assume that to be the case, but I'm not sure. I fear that there is little information available about the specifics of these two suborders, as mentioned in my above comment. The Earwig (Talk | Contribs) 20:44, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
  • No cladistic phylogeny - the Linnean system is going out of favour in zoology and cladistics is taking over, especially in paleontology. --Philcha (talk) 22:51, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Nothing about their nearest relatives, in terms of both Linnean and cladistic taxonomy. --Philcha (talk) 22:51, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Nothing about what distinguishes them from their nearest relatives, and from similar-looking but not necessarily closely related taxa. See Annelid for an example. --Philcha (talk) 22:51, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Nothing about what distinguishes the sub-orders from each other. --Philcha (talk) 22:51, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Nothing about predators on or competitors of earwigs. --Philcha (talk) 22:51, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Nothing about basic anatomy. Arthropod may give you some ideas. --Philcha (talk) 22:51, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Is that really necessary? Their internal anatomy is very similar to any other insect's, and the only major differences are covered in the Appearance and behavior section. The Earwig (Talk | Contribs) 20:44, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Nothing about senses. How do the non-parasites find food and the parasites find hosts? How do they find mates? How do they detect predators, and intraspecific or interspecific competitors? --Philcha (talk) 22:51, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Good question. I'll do some research to see if there's anything that can answer it. The Earwig (Talk | Contribs) 20:44, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Very little about fossil record - just "despite a record of fossilization that began 208 million years ago and numerous extant species". I'd hope for:
    • Where fossils were found, and in what sorts of environments. Brownie points for any fossil locations that have moved significantly as a result of continental drift, since Pangea did not break up until very approx 180 million years ago. --Philcha (talk) 22:51, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
    • How fossils were preserved. Having relatively soft cuticles, earwigs don't look great candidates for fossilisation, so some explanation is required. If I had to guess, I'd think amber and lagerstätten are the most likely sources. --Philcha (talk) 22:51, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
    • Any significant changes over time, e.g. range, environments, size, morphology. --Philcha (talk) 22:51, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Little about interaction with humans. --Philcha (talk) 05:29, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
  • There's a bit about crop destruction, but perhaps I'll be able to add some more. The Earwig (Talk | Contribs) 20:44, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

(comment) I may also find gaps when I start walking through individual sections. --Philcha (talk) 22:51, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

I realise that filling these gaps will take a bit of research, and I won't rush you (yet). If you have difficulty finding or accessing sources, send me a message - I may be able to help. --Philcha (talk) 22:51, 11 August 2009 (UTC)


  • The additional content to fill the gaps will very likely make changes in structure necessary. --Philcha (talk) 05:52, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
  • The current structure looks odd anyway, e.g.: "Life cycle" before and including items abut appearance; "Distribution and habitat" and "Appearance and behavior" both refer to nocturnal behaviour and preferred habitats. I suggest you look at Arthropod, Annelid and Spider for ideas. --Philcha (talk) 05:52, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
    BTW I've recently found it useful to have near the top a table of similarities and differences with related taxa and with taxa that are superficially similar, see e.g. Annelid or Ctenophore. In Earwig the obvious superficially similar taxon is Devil's coach horse beetle. --Philcha (talk) 06:15, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
    I've rearranged some of the sections, but I'm getting reverted by another user, Abce2 (talk · contribs), who appears to disagree with me. I have requested that the user come on the article's talk page to discuss this. The Earwig (Talk | Contribs) 21:08, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
  • I'd probably keep "Etymology" first for now, but let's see how it works. --Philcha (talk) 05:52, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Review paused[edit]

My comments so far imply significant changes, so there's no point in doing a detailed walkthrough at present. Please leave a message here or at my Talk page if you think you've dealt with my comments so far, or if you have any questions or need any help. --Philcha (talk) 05:52, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Stability of article[edit]

One of the GA criteria is "Stable: it does not change significantly from day-to-day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute". A comment above (21:08, 29 August 2009) suggests there may be a content dispute. I shall message the participants and then put tihs review "on hold" - if there is not significant progress in the next 7 days I will assess the artcile as a fail. --Philcha (talk) 05:39, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

I agree completely. This article obviously needs more work before it will meet GA status, anyway. We will continue to improve it, and hopefully it will be good enough to be resubmitted in the near future. Thanks, The Earwig (Talk | Contribs) 06:37, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

Links validity check[edit]

(to be done when any issues in the main text have been resolved) link checker

Check for disambiguation and other dubious wikilinks[edit]

(to be done when any issues in the main text have been resolved)

Use of images[edit]

(to be done when any issues in the main text have been resolved)


(to be done when any issues in the main text have been resolved)

Outcome of review[edit]

The editors have accepted that significant further work is need to bring this article to GA standard. I therefore concluded that for now the article has failed this GA review. However I look forward to seeing an improved version at WP:GAN. All the best, --Philcha (talk) 09:47, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

- - - - - please add review comments /responses above this line - - - - -
If you want to start a new section of the Talk page while this review is still here, edit the whole page, i.e.use the "edit" link at the top of the page.


Currently, we have the sections arranged in the following order:

  1. Lead
  2. Etymology
  3. Life cycle
  4. Behavior
  5. Classification
  6. Characteristics
  7. Distribution
  8. Further reading
  9. References
  10. External links

I personally feel that this arrangement is inappropriate, because we are talking about their life cycle before we are talking about their appearance, we are taking about their behavior before we talk about their characteristics and their classifications, et cetera. Therefore, some topics are covered in the wrong sections, and it may be confusing for a reader to read about how earwigs are born before they learn about how they look. For more information, see Philcha's comment in the GA review. I changed the order to support a more logical flow (see revision), but I was reverted by Abce2. My order was:

  1. Lead
  2. Etymology
  3. Classification
  4. Characteristics
  5. Behavior
  6. Life cycle
  7. Distribution
  8. Further reading
  9. References
  10. External links

I would appreciate it if we could establish some consensus on what a good order would be. The Earwig (Talk | Contribs) 21:21, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

I would personally go with:
  1. Lead
  2. Etymology
  3. Characteristics
    1. Behavior
    2. Life cycle
  4. Classification
  5. Distribution
  6. Further reading
  7. References
  8. External links
Submitting "Behavior" and "Life cycle" to "Characteristics," since both of those are defining features for the group. Moved "Classification" behind "Characteristics" since it won't be of interest to readers until they actually know what earwigs are like. I don't know anything about entomology though; just a suggestion. Abyssal (talk) 02:02, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
I like this idea. It does make sense to put characteristics before classification, because readers would probably prefer to start with a general overview before going to the specifics. However, the indentation may require a little more discussion; while I see the purpose, I'm not entirely sure that this would work out so well if the sections are expanded. Regards, The Earwig (Talk | Contribs) 04:52, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I was a little iffy on that too. Whatever you think is best for the article. Abyssal (talk) 20:33, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, that's a great idea! Thanks! I wonder if anyone would have thought of that... So, are we agreed/Abce2|Aww nuts!Wribbit!(Sign here) 04:50, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Consensus seems clear now, so I've changed it to match Abyssal's idea. The indentation makes sense, because the behavior and life cycle of an earwig can be considered to be part of their characteristics. However, the characteristics section is more about their appearance, not their behavior, and in the current system, it is rather confusing. I propose that we adopt the structure of similar GAs, such as Annelid and Ctenophore, by renaming "Characteristics" to "Description", and adding a "Distinguishing features" section before it for comparison with similar arthropods (such as the Devil's coach horse beetle). Obviously, we should be focusing more on content writing right now, but I don't know. I will begin to write a "Distinguishing features" section in my sandbox in the meantime. The Earwig (Talk | Contribs) 05:13, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

An Earwig in my Ear[edit]

I live in Washington state and have encountered many earwigs during my lifetime, but usually they are outside. Last night I had a creepy experience. An earwig entered my ear as I was sitting on my couch watching TV. I thought some sort of a small flying insect had flown inside my ear. It tickled and the sounds in my ear were incredible. I immediately jumped up and kept poking my finger in my ear, tilting my head, etc. to remove the critter. I tilted my head downward and then thought that some bugs only fly UP, so I tipped my head so my ear was facing the ceiling. The whole incident lasted maybe 60 seconds, and then it fell or crawled out. There on the floor was an earwig! I did not get pinched or bit, just scared. Thinking back, I had been outside before dinner and thought I felt something hit the top of my head--thought it might be a drop of rain. I'll bet that's where the earwig came from. I just read that they can fly but have never seen one in flight. However it felt like something FLEW into my ear last night. I am assuming it wasn't in there long enough to lay eggs. Ick! Now I wonder if the name EARWIG really is because they like to crawl into ears. Given the chance, I'm sure it's a nice dark little hole. From now on, I'm hoping they stay outside under the rocks!Redpenpenny (talk) 17:27, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for reporting this. Reliable sources report the same thing occurring in both the U.S. and Europe, and I have put that information back into the article. Some people insist on deleting it, putting their belief (or counter-myth) above fact; they seem determined to replace one myth (that earwigs lay eggs in human brains) with another (that earwigs are harmless). In reality, earwigs sometimes enter the ear canal, occasionally causing serious pain and minor injury. Such occurrences are rare in modern western homes, but were probably common in the centuries when farming families lived in one-room houses and brought the farm animals in during cold nights. That is the era of old English, and they probably named the bug after the most memorable place they found it.TVC 15 (talk) 22:10, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

The only (partially) reliable source you have, tolweb, say it is "utter nonsense." Bugboy52.4 | =-= 01:20, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
wrong - you're quoting out of context - that quote refers to eggs-in-the-brain. Please read it again, and the other reliable sources, in addition to the personal experiences reported above.TVC 15 (talk) 01:27, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
What are you talking about, none of the sources are reliable, and I think I quoted correctly, "This behaviour probably gave rise to the belief that they penetrate the tympanum and lay eggs in the brain, which is utter nonsense." And sense when is a comment a reliable source?? Anyway, it is not worth noting that they crawl into the ear just as much as any other insect or animal would by accident. Bugboy52.4 | =-= 01:36, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
The article cites three reliable sources currently, of which you already acknowledged one. Your extended quotation above is correct but you are applying it incorrectly: the phrase "This behaviour" refers to crawling into the ears; the phrase "utter nonsense" refers to the belief about laying eggs in the brain. The comments on this page are _in addition to_ the published reliable sources, and such addition is not a basis to remove reliably sourced material. P.S. Your repeated deletion of this reliably sourced information is bordering on edit war; please stop.TVC 15 (talk) 01:45, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Both of you, please stop reverting each other. Keep the three revert rule in mind, as well as edit warring. While I fully support discussing this on the talk page, reverting each other in the article is inappropriate. Thanks. — The Earwig @ 01:48, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Please stop reverting i'm trying to do something. Bugboy52.4 | =-= 01:50, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Evidently what you're trying to do is test WP:3RR because this is your third revert. Hypocritically, after starting the reverts, you now continue while asking me to stop. This accomplishes nothing. The facts are well sourced and should stay in.TVC 15 (talk) 01:55, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Ah - your "something" is now in, and I've left it although it's ungrammatical. Meanwhile, I found two more sources for the original statement, so hopefully you will now leave that in too.TVC 15 (talk) 02:27, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
Yea... sorry about my grammar, and my slow move, I was trying to answer fast and I kept getting into edit conflicts and had to retype it. P.S. it would be nice of you to apologize for calling me a hypocrite by accident, thank you. Bugboy52.4 | =-= 02:34, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
It was not an accident, and now you've done it again, exceeding the WP:3RR limit. Please see the warning template here.[7] If you do not revert your latest edit, I will have to report it to the appropriate noticeboard,[8] which may result in a block.TVC 15 (talk) 03:40, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

Do earwigs make honey?[edit]

I keep hearing things about earwig honey. I assumed it was just a silly joke but the number of references to it has me wondering. Anyone have any idea if there's any truth to this? Seems like it'd be a stretch... (talk) 17:28, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

This sort of question is more appropriate for the Reference Desk, namely the Science desk, as this page is for discussing improvements to this article. That being said, it's total BS, and most likely derived from a very touching episode of Futurama, namely Love and Rocket, where they say that candy hearts are made out of, among other things, earwig honey. ~ Amory (usertalkcontribs) 18:04, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Edit warring[edit]

I have restored the previous version before the edit war, before things start to get worse. Please work out a solution in a cooperative manner. Once there has been a consensus, you may make the additions to the article without edit warring. Thank you, ZooFari 03:57, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

Thanks - I have reported the matter on the appropriate noticeboard,[9], and am placing this notice here in case anyone wishes to comment there.TVC 15 (talk) 04:32, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

Thank you ZooFari, good work. Prodego talk 04:37, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
This is utter ridiculous, I did not revert him, I moved the information.... not edit warring. Bugboy52.4 | =-= 10:32, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

The version before user:bugboy52.40's last revert/deletion[10] looked good, with the Latin etymology; the bare references could be formatted with author & title etc.TVC 15 (talk) 21:04, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

Trust me, it would go better with Relationship with people as it relates to people more then etymology, don't you think? Bugboy52.4 | =-= 21:22, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

Alright, let's review, shall we? It all started in this diff in which Bugboy removed what he claimed as "nonsense". Although, it's not really nonsense and there was reliable sources along with it, a better summary would have been better. In this diff, TVC reverts and pinpoints the discussion page which is the correct thing to do. Discussion takes place above but both users didn't come to an agreement, so Bugboy reverts here and here without explanation. TVC provides that the statements are correctly supported by the provided sources. TVC does not revert and Bugboy readds partial of the content here, eliminating two of the previous sources (Did Bugboy change his mind???). TVC restores Bugboys removal here and even provides more sources. Bugboy once again reverts here, this time claims the statement was repeated twice (in this case, here where Bugboy re-adds the partial content). However, Bugboy made that edit much after the edit war began and uses it as an excuse. Therefore, TVC's edit here was because TVC was not aware that Bugboy moved a partial of the statements down to another section. This could have been prevented if Bugboy used an edit summary. Later, I then reverted to the version before this mess happened [11].

So to summarize, Bugboy reverts by removing the statement because he thinks its nonsense, but later adds partial of the content under another section to use as an excuse (or maybe he changed his mind per reliable sources?). At this point, TVC thinks Bugboy blatantly removed the content because he said it was nonsense, which is perfectly fine. TVC doesn't realize Bugboy readds partial content under a different section and therefore reverts Bugboy. Bugboy doesn't mention that he re-added until TVC reported this at the 3RR notice board (maybe sooner at each other's talk pages?).

While I'm not really on anyone's side, I do agree that Bugboy made some mistakes (lack of summary usage, for example). As for TVC, I irrelevantly should say that his edits do not belong in the etymology section. It's for the term "Earwig" and "Dermaptera" only. Now, to conclude, I ask that Bugboy and TVC come up with a solution. I would suggest you both propose a new paragraph regarding the content here on this talk page. I hope this clears up any confusion, and that you continue to edit productively. Thank you, ZooFari 00:31, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

I changed my mined per the ONE reliable source, the other sources are not reliable. Bugboy52.4 | =-=
Alright, so there is an agreement between you and TVC. All you need to do is figure out what goes on the article, where, and how. ZooFari 00:53, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
How about, the Latin etymology ("auriculus") that earwigs were ground up as ear medicine goes in the etymology section (it is an alternate basis for the association between earwigs and ears), the rest goes in the relationship with humans section. The source on etymology also says earwigs enter ears, so that one source would be cited twice, but the content need not be repeated - unless ancient medicinal use is thought worth repeating in the relationship section. (I can't imagine what medicinal effect pulverized earwig could have on the ears, but I doubt it was ever helpful.) Bugboy, even though you might not believe in medical journals, they are considered reliable sources within Wikipedia, and medicine has progressed somewhat since ancient times. Besides, what really surprises me here is having to work so hard to source a statement that is fairly obvious: earwigs sometimes enter people's ears. Spiders do the same, as do cockroaches and all sorts of small flying insects, so it would be quite surprising if earwigs didn't. Earwigs have a particular affinity for warm humid crevices and various tubes, so they seem particularly likely to enter, as the published sources and comments above have reported. (One anonymous editor above claimed earwigs don't enter ears and that there have been studies, but didn't cite any. It might be tempting to study by putting a denier's head in a box full of earwigs and counting how many enter the ears in an hour, but those cerci could probably perforate an eardrum so I don't recommend trying this at home.)TVC 15 (talk) 09:09, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
That sounds like a good idea. Etymology deserves a mention, yes, but it should be due weight, of course. I suppose a sentence or two, including your medical journal sources, is fine. That information would be repeated in the Relationship section, but would be in more detail. As for ear medicine... actually, I think it would be a good idea to mention this in the Relationship section. We could say something like, "Historically, earwigs have been used for medicinal purposes..." Anyone else have an opinion on this? — The Earwig @ 22:19, 24 November 2009 (UTC)
 Done! Bugboy52.4 | =-= 23:57, 24 November 2009 (UTC)

Smiley face[edit]

In the first sentence of the taxonomy section, the = sign inside the parenthesis looks like a smiley face. Was this intentional or did a twitter vandal come unnoticed and placed a smiley? ZooFariThank you Wikipedia! 17:02, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]


  • Rather than saying 'Dermaptera, commonly called earwigs,' say 'Earwigs, which make up the order Dermapters', or something similar because the title should be the first word. Perhaps include the misconception in a later sentence and provide a brief description in the first sentence.
 DoneBugboy52.4 | =-= 01:27, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • →Earwigs can fly, but rarely do so.
 DoneThe Earwig @ 05:12, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Don't start a sentence with But; either combine with another or replace the word.
 Done:Didn't see any sentences that started with but. Bugboy52.4 | =-= 01:30, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • →care of their eggs and will continue to watch over offspring until their second molt as nymphs.
 Done Bugboy52.4 | =-= 01:57, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • →As the nymphs molt, sexual dimorphism such as differences in pincer shapes begins to show.
 Done I, used, too, many, commas :)The Earwig @ 05:16, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • →the Late Triassic
 DoneThe Earwig @ 05:16, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • →and pteron, wing.
 DoneThe Earwig @ 05:21, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • →The common term
 DoneThe Earwig @ 05:21, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Though, earwigs are omnivores that are predisposed to hiding in warm humid crevices and as such do occasionally crawl into the human ear canal.→Earwigs are predisposed to hiding in warm humid crevices and do indeed occasionally crawl into the human ear canal.
 DoneThe Earwig @ 05:21, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • →(to fit inside tight crevices)
 DoneThe Earwig @ 05:26, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Though the Saint Helena earwig reaches 80 mm long" is not a complete sentence.
 Done: reworded, tell me how I did. Bugboy52.4 | =-= 01:36, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • →free-fall
 DoneThe Earwig @ 05:26, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • →The only insect predators
 DoneThe Earwig @ 05:26, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Reword "meaning they develop in a series of molts, they undergo 4 to 6 instars, or molts."
 Done: reworded, tell me how I did. Bugboy52.4 | =-= 01:34, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • "Females will start mating in the fall around September, the beginning of the mating season" is repetitive
Where does it repeat? Bugboy52.4 | =-= 01:44, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
I suggest, "Females will start mating in the fall around September"; "the beginning of the mating season" is redundant. This fact is already implied by "Females will start mating". — The Earwig @ 05:31, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
 DoneThe Earwig @ 19:59, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • may retain in the female→remain?
 Done Bugboy52.4 | =-= 01:45, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • →January to early March
 DoneThe Earwig @ 05:31, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • →Afterward the female
 DoneThe Earwig @ 05:31, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • →studies by entomologists
 DoneThe Earwig @ 05:31, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Reword The mother will also vigorously defend the eggs from predators, not eating unless an egg goes bad, she will also continuously lick and clean the egg to protect it from fungus.
 Done Bugboy52.4 | =-= 01:49, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • "The urge to persist will for days until the eggs, as seen in the studies, are removed..." I don't know what you're trying to say here.
 Done Bugboy52.4 | =-= 13:00, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
The urge to clean the eggs will what for days? Read it word by word. "would continue the urge" also doesn't make sense.
  • "The nymphs would have feed off their own mother's saliva and regurgitated vegetation, and also on their own molts." is also confusing.
Does that clarify? Bugboy52.4 | =-= 13:03, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
No. "would have feed"? Read it word by word.
Done that, working on the whole section now. A little insignificant Giving thanks to all that is me 18:23, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
  • "the wings will also start to develop, if the wings are present, the forewings are short and thick like elytra or shell over the wins on beetles, covering the hindwings." Grammar. Why wouldn't they be present?
 Done Bugboy52.4 | =-= 13:07, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
You have two separate thoughts here: starting to develop and being present. First, you need to know when to use a semicolon. Second,
Done when I rewrote the statement above. A little insignificant Giving thanks to all that is me 12:52, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
  • →especially throughout
 DoneThe Earwig @ 19:59, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • →and now occur throughout
 DoneThe Earwig @ 19:59, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • found far north→found in the north
 Done Bugboy52.4 | =-= 13:08, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • here?
 Done Bugboy52.4 | =-= 13:27, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • rewrite 'northern states of USA'
 DoneThe Earwig @ 05:09, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • "Out of about 1,800 species, only about 25 occur in North America, 45 in Europe (including the 7 in Britain), and 60 in Australia." So are all 1700 others in Asia? Also strike the 7.
The source didn't stat of the other species, but I dought that all the other species are only found in Asia. Bugboy52.4 | =-= 17:43, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • →years ago and comprises. Tell where elsewhere
Where else should it go? Bugboy52.4 | =-= 00:25, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
I guess it's okay.
  • Reword "Some of the traits believed by neontologists to be only of earwigs are not so for the earliest fossils, but adults had five-segmented tarsi (the final segment of the leg), well developed ovipositors, veined tegmina (forewings) and long segmented cerci, in fact the pincers would have not been curled and used as they are now."
 Done Bugboy52.4 | =-= 00:25, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Link Permian, debold Grylloblattaria, and join that sentence with the next (Though... is not a complete sentence).
 Done. ZooFari 03:28, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Don't keep linking tarsi and cerci.
 Done ZooFari 03:34, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Find a bluelink for antennal heart or remove it.
 Done - delinked. ZooFari 03:38, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
 Done Bugboy52.4 | =-= 13:20, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • the two suborders Arixeniina and Hemimerina what? (the 1950s)
 Done Clarified the text. Is it okay now? AshLin (talk) 20:08, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • What's with all the bold in the taxonomy section?
 Done AshLin (talk) 20:08, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Leaves and petals are not crops.
 Done ZooFari 03:18, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Cupule?
Fixed cupule -> cup. ZooFari 03:56, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Why are there two different dates for Arixeniina in the charactertistics section?
 Done Clarified the text. Please see if its okay now. AshLin (talk) 20:08, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Factually accurate and verifiable:

  • Capitalize Western Journal of Medicine
 Done Bugboy52.4 | =-= 04:03, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Broad in its coverage:

  • Nothing else for the physical description? Perhaps more about their namesake wings?
 Done Is that good enough. Bugboy52.4 | =-= 17:14, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • How long after being laid do the eggs hatch? If the life cycle is a year, when do they die?
It says they live for a year. Bugboy52.4 | =-= 17:23, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
If the eggs are laid in late January to early March, when do they hatch?
 Done Bugboy52.4 | =-= 04:03, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Neutral: Yes

Stable: Yes


 Done. Added two images. Relocated another appropriately. AshLin (talk) 20:13, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Finally, change the ext links to be a name of a page, followed by the name of the site. "Earwigs eat through your brain" urban legend debunked → Bugs in the Ear urban legend from Snopes. Fantastic job!! Everything is well-referenced from academic sources and it has nearly everything I need to know.Reywas92Talk 01:07, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Sorry if I'm unclear. If there's an arrow, it means to change the similar text in the article to what I've suggested above. "Here" is not a specific word and should be change to "there". The sentence ending with "the two suborders Arixeniina and Hemimerina" is very unclear, and add "the" before "1950s". Reywas92Talk 03:18, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Red Links[edit]


While it is not said so explicitly in WP:WIAGA, GAs should not have red links.

The MOS says :-

"To make a link more useful to readers when no article currently exists, it may be useful to create a redirect to a relevant existing article or section, or to create a stub for the new article (check similar articles for conventions on naming and categorization)."

So the Earwig editors are requested to please convert the red links to stubs, I'm clueless as far as Dermaptera are concerned.

AshLin (talk) 13:44, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Strange, red links are allowed in FA ! Shyamal (talk) 15:38, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Is that so! While reviewing, I used to ask editors to convert. The point was never contested. IMHO even if this is not a FA/GA requirement, this should be done. Red links give the impression that the articles are incomplete in some way. Let the stubs exist instead. AshLin (talk) 17:07, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
I believe if their is a red link the editor should be required to explain briefly, but not required to make a new page. Bugboy52.4 | =-= 17:17, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Which links, specifically? If you want to create nice little articles that's fine, but I'm vehemently opposed to the creation of crappy, redundant substubs just for the sake of having them. Reywas92Talk 18:59, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Created a page on Doru aculeatum. Protelytroptera is beyond me. AshLin (talk) 19:07, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
There should be no red links anymore :) ZooFari 19:44, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, those are very nice start articles. Reywas92Talk 03:21, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Further: Specific taxonomic disputes are not important enough for the lead. Reywas92Talk 03:21, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Symbol support vote.svg

Great job! I hope to see more of this! Reywas92Talk 23:12, 2 December 2009 (UTC)


There is mention of a type of earwig native to eastern Canada as being the only earwig found in Canada. I believe this is untrue, based on personal observation of earwigs in the western province of British Columbia. I'm too lazy to research the truth of the matter and correct it here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:03, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

A few comments which I tried to fix but seems to have been reverted. Shyamal (talk) 15:18, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

  • Lead: "A unique behavior to the species is maternal care." - this is incorrect since this is not unique (unless carefully qualified) and earwigs are not "species".
 Done I think I fixed the lead. Bugboy52.4 | =-= 03:22, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Lead: "The actual organization of earwig suborders is still debated, but in 1985, biologist E.J. Popham developed a chart describing the approximate relationships between the different taxa." The Popham classification is flawed and the 2004 paper by Jarvis, KJ; F Haas & MF Whiting (PDF linked and cited) is quite clear about this.
 Done I think I fixed the lead. Bugboy52.4 | =-= 03:22, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
  • "either harmful or beneficial to foliage and flowers such as crops" : Comment - "harm" or "benefit" is anthropocentric and it can only make sense in the context of agricultural crops. The same problem exists in the lead.
You might have to fix this, because I'm not sure what you mean. Bugboy52.4 | =-= 03:22, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
  • based on some literature available to me, the term ectoparasitic is no longer acceptable for the groups that live on rodents or bats with the term "epizoic" being the wording of choice.
 Done I fixed this. Bugboy52.4 | =-= 03:22, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Sorry about the lead, but can we fill in the last paragraph and not have it as a one sentence paragraph? I also read that ectoparasitic, though commonly used, is not correct, I forgot to fix it. Bugboy52.4 | =-= 21:38, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
  • The statement "The nymphs feed off the mother's saliva and regurgitated vegetation" needs a better source than "International Wildlife Encyclopedia (3 ed.). Marshall Cavendish Inc." - since such books are meant for a lay audience and may not be technically accurate on finer aspects of biology. What is needed is an accurate source for trophallaxis in the Dermaptera. The existence has been questioned in page 75. Costa, JT The other insect societies.
Just found a suitable reference -
Good, so encyclopedias and dictionaries are bad sources that should have a back-up per se? Bugboy52.4 | =-= 23:36, 2 December 2009 (UTC)
No, not always, it depends on the content. An encylopedia reference for the shape of the earwig or its etymology is not a problem. Interpretations that are debatable/debated could always do with more sources that have more detailed reviews. Trophallaxis and subsocial behaviour in these taxa tend to be questioned especially if interpretations do not fit expected patterns in the evolution of sociality. Shyamal (talk) 02:39, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, since this wasn't on the review subpage I didn't notice it until I passed the article as GA. I trust that you will be able to make the improvements. Reywas92Talk 00:00, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

I believe most of this has been covered. Bugboy52.4 | =-= 03:22, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Unreliable Reference[edit]

There is a reference to a hoax article that jokingly supports the "earwigs can lay eggs in your brain" theory: [12]. This is certainly not a reliable source; it's a blog entry quoting a "no longer available" research published on April 1 (Fools' Day) by a researcher called "Falschung" (German for "falsification"). The entry is not written in a scientific language, but is obviously jocular. Perhaps some more experienced user would be kind enough to have a look and decide whether this reference should be kept. (talk) 16:14, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Removed. The "reference" links on the article just linked to our own April Fool's Day page, so clearly a (well-thought out) joke. Nice catch! ~ Amory (utc) 16:43, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
Funny, I was almost blocked for trying to remove info (3 reverts) and I argued that these references wheren't reliable and I couldn't remove them becuase I would of gotten blocked xD Bugboy52.4 ¦ =-= 20:35, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Image gallery?[edit]

A user moved a few images down into a gallery as seen here, AGF. I kind of discourage galleries for several reasons, including the drive of too many images as time goes by, and they don't provide enough information as they would in captions. What do you think? ZooFari 04:08, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

I agree, image galleries aren't good for articles and aren't encyclopedic. As for the change in name, I think using people uses better diction because we now we are referring to people. Bugboy52.4 ¦ =-= 05:00, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

Acid-shooting Earwigs[edit]

I removed a line under the Behaviour section that said this: "Some also have an acid like mucus that is shot out from the back end of the Earwig and can severly burn a human from 5 feet away." I did a search online for information this, and all I found was a reference to a creature in Lord of the Rings: Online that vaguely resembles an earwig. Needless to say (but I'm going to say it anyway), if you're going to post something that isn't common knowledge, at least cite your sources. Cozmo1138 (talk) 17:17, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

Earwigs and ears[edit]

For the etymology of the name earwig, the German WP article gives the explanation that throughout ancient times, powderized earwigs were a widely common and popular treatment applied by doctors in case of earache and various other ear diseases, from whence also stems the original Latin (i. e. Roman) name of the animal, which is auricula (derived from auris, "ear"). Middle Age people still knew that Latin name of auricula whereas the use as medicine had been forgotten, so they made up their own vulgar folk etymology of the earwig being more prone than other insects to crawl into people's ears. The source given for that information is Gundolf Keil, Die Bekämpfung des Ohrwurms nach Anweisungen spätmittelalterlicher und frühneuzeitlicher deutscher Arzneibücher ("The control of earwigs, as according to instructions given in Late Medieval and Early Modern period medical guides"), Zeitschrift für deutsche Philologie 79 (1960), p. 176–200, ISSN 0044-2496</ -- (talk) 02:26, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

EDIT: Apparently, this fact has been pointed out as far back as November 2009 on this talkpage, but so far has not been implemented in the article, whereas the folk etymology nonsense of the earwig being more common to crawl into human ears than other insects appears twice. -- (talk) 02:36, 9 May 2011 (UTC)


I note that Africa is not included in the known distribution of earwigs. I can confirm they are definitely found in South Africa. I do not know if they are found elsewhere on the continent. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:22, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

I can confirm there are earwigs in Europe too, I live in Portugal. We call it "bicha-cadela", which literally means bug-bitch (the female dog).

Abdominal Forceps; citation needed?[edit]

I hate to be a doubter; but given the amount of video and photographs that exist on the internet, why can I not find a single example of ear wigs using their abdominal forceps? Nor can I find any first hand observations of their use on in any peer reviewed research papers. There are anecdotal claims, definitely. Usually people 'explaining' how they are alleged to use these forceps. But ultimately what made my mind boggle was why an insect would bother using something on the opposite side of it's body where it cannot even see to 'catch prey' and formally wish to call bullshit on it.

Can anyone provide any evidence of this behaviour being observed? Or is this just something we have had passed on from time immemorial and assumed is factual, just as we did--for many thousands of years undoubtedly--with the belief they burrow into our ears? Just playing devil's advocate here, but it doesn't seem realistic. Especially when female earwig's abdominal forceps tend to be all gnarled and misshapen and just kinda hang there out their butts. Do we have any evidence of this behaviour? Anywhere? Preferably something I we can actually visibly see ourselves would be brilliant too if anyone has anything laying around (obviously personal research applies and all that jazz, but it would go a long way to dispel the "Yeah, right." aspect of the claim. BaSH PR0MPT (talk) 02:57, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

Just to clarify my skepticism besides not being able to find any proof of the claim, I forgot to add, that having grown up and encountered many and played with them as a child, I have never seen them use or move their forceps, and have been told that they have little to no force behind them when they do. Again this is all personal research, which is why I didn't mention it at first, but I figure explaining why I'm QQing over something that seems to be repeated on every site that mentions these critters would make my query seem less batshit random. :P As far as I have seen these 'pincers' are more like a horn-like structure, and vary in shape and size. They appear more like deer antlers on it's butt than they do any functional mechanical means of gripping. Perhaps the fact they look like the kind of pincers some insects (ants, et al.) have on their mandibles they have just been assumed to work in a similar way? But, as I said above, I have been searching all morning and not found any claims by reputable first hand witnesses. Plenty of "They X with their Y." arguments from authority of "Don't ask me how I know this, I just do." but that kind of 'common sense' assumption leads to all kinds of errors. BaSH PR0MPT (talk) 03:03, 9 December 2013 (UTC)
Throwing out a useful paper for future reference.
Moore, Allen J.; Wilson, Paul (1993). "The evolution of sexually dimorphic earwig forceps: social interactions among adults of the toothed earwig, Vostox apicedentatus" (PDF). Behavioral Ecology. Oxford University Press. 4 (1): 40–48. doi:10.1093/beheco/4.1.40. 
— Earwig talk 10:27, 30 December 2015 (UTC)


The article erroneously limits where earwigs are found. It says, "Earwigs make up the insect order Dermaptera and are found throughout the Americas, Africa, Eurasia, Asia, Australia and New Zealand."

However, [1] says they are found all over Europe. Other sites echo the BBC, including [2]

The earwig article needs to be fixed. (talk) 16:48, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

Among other things, "Eurasia" encompasses both Europe and Asia, as you are aware that Asia and Europe are separated due to political and not geographical reasons, right?.--Mr Fink (talk) 17:16, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Earwig/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Maybe something should be said about parental care, which is exhibited by the mother in some species of earwigs? It is a remarquably rare behaviour for invertebrates. IronChris

Last edited at 22:35, 22 July 2009 (UTC). Substituted at 19:56, 1 May 2016 (UTC)

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