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Amorous Earwigs

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Earwig by G. Bradley

It's the mating season for earwigs.  This is the time of the year when males and females are found above ground, so you may start to notice them scurrying around in search of partners.  You can tell the males from the females because the males have curved pincers at the end of their abdomen, while the females have much straighter pincers.  It's rumored that the females prefer larger pincered males.  That seems a bit shallow.

Earwigs are surprisingly good parents.  The males and females stay together for some time after mating, and they both take a part in building the nest.  But once the female lays hers eggs the romance ends.  The male is no longer required and gets kicked out of the nest.

The females spent the winter in the nest, where they look after the eggs and patiently wait for the little earwiglets to hatch. The baby earwigs are white at first but their bodies start to darken after their first moult. The mother stays with her young, protecting them from predators until they are able to look after themselves: usually after their second moult.

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