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Harmless and Maternal

Harmless and Maternal
Photo Information
Copyright: Catherine Dijon (CatherineD) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 861 W: 57 N: 4006] (14097)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-09-12
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 40 D, Canon EF 100 mm F2.8 Macro USM
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/50 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2010-09-23 10:51
Viewed: 3154
Points: 24
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note [French]
Generations of children in Europe or North America are afraid of this harmless insect only because of its (wrong) name! The common name for this insect in at least six European languages incorporates a word for ear. There is an ancient Anglo-Saxon legend that they crawl into the ears of sleeping persons. Entomologists, however, insist that this belief is without foundation. Forficula is even useful for the gardener. And females care of their eggs and nurse their young (rare among insects!).
The flower is Malva moschata.

Forficula auricularia Linnaeus, 1758 ♀
Family: Forficulidae
Order: Dermaptera
Common names: Common earwig, European earwig [En], Forficule, Perce-oreille [Fr], Gemeine Ohrwurm [De], Ĝrentvist [Da], Oorworm [Nl], Tagliaforbici, Tenaglietta [It], Tijereta común [Es]

Forficula auricularia has an elongated flattened brownish colored body, with a shield-shaped pronotum, two pairs of wings and a pair of forcep-like cerci. They are about 12–15 mm long. The mouth parts are of the chewing type.
The male forceps are very robust and broadened basally with crenulate teeth. The female forceps are about 3 mm long, and are less robust and straighter. The cerci are used during mating, feeding, and self-defense. Although F. auricularia have well-developed wings, they are fairly weak and are rarely, if ever, used.

Native to Europe, western Asia and probably North Africa, Forficula auricularia was introduced to North America in the early twentieth century.
European earwigs spend the day time in cool, dark, inaccessible places such as flowers, fruits, and wood crevices. Active primarily at night, they seek out food ranging from plant matter to small insects. Though they are omnivorous, they are considered scavengers rather than predators. European earwigs prefer aphids to plant material such as leaves and fruit slices of apple, cherry and pear.

A male finds prospective mates by olfaction. He then slips his cerci under the tip of the female's abdomen so that his and her ventral abdominal surfaces are in contact with each other, while both face in opposite directions. If not disturbed, pairs can stay in this mating position for many hours.
The female earwig lays a clutch of about 50 eggs in an underground nest in the autumn. The female cares for her young by shifting the eggs about and cleaning them to avoid fungal growth. In the spring, she spreads them out into a single layer and the young emerge from the eggs.She guards them until they reach maturity after about one month.

Humans have, however, found beneficial uses of F. auricularia in the pest management of other insects. The European earwig is a natural predator of a number of other agricultural pests, including the pear psyllid and several aphid species, and in this regard has been used to control outbreaks of such organisms.

Wikipedia/Forficula auricularia
Fisher J.R., 1986. Earwig in the ear., West J Med. 1986 August; 145(2): 245.

Dis. Ac., boreocypriensis, flashpoint, eng55, bahadir, Miss_Piggy, meyerd, goldyrs, paolo49, anemone, ikonta has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Gert-Paassen: Thanks!CatherineD 1 09-23 13:27
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Critiques [Translate]

hello Catherine
yes tis is a beauty of a picture
great sharpness good details and beautiful colours
greeting lou

Hi Catherine,

the dutchname are Oorworm.
Great shot fom this insect and flower.
Fine colours .
good pov and sharpness and i like the drops.
This specie are be my 700th post saturday or sunday.


Wow... Cat!, this is a work of art. Amazingly perfect image in every way dear! Superb presentation!
Great focus on the forfucula with good blurring of the background. A masterpiece indeed. Congrats MF!
TFS and have a nice night!


  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2010-09-23 14:06]

Hi Catherine,
Very beautiful shut.Well seen and composed.POV,details and visual impact are wonderful.Excellent work!
Thanks for sharing..

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2010-09-23 15:32]

Salut Catherine,quelle magnifique composition avec ce fleur et ces gouttes pour montrer ce commun insects des nos pays,nous l'appellons la "forbicina",(le petite ciseaux),une qualite' extraordinaire et des details et couleurs au top.Mes compliments et bonne journee',Luciano

Hi Catherine,
An artistic job with droplets. Colours, composition, sharpness... all are fantastic. Great work!
TFS and regards,

Hallo Catherine
Your image has a lot of beautiful details to it and your note is very interesting to read. This is a lovely macro with fine details captured just on the right spots. Although your main topic is the Earwig, I find the photography on the flower super. The droplets of water on the unopened bud, and the fine lines of the veins on the opened flower is really great and very eye-catching. The composition is very pleasant and the pink colour very soft on the eye. Thanks for sharing. Best regards.

Hi Catherine,
"Prächtig" is the word that comes to my mind first. I like everything, the composition, the curled up animal, the dewdrops. And the note! You top it all with the citation of JR Fisher's "Earwig in he Ear"!
My best regards to you,

Another stunning addition to your gallery, Catherine!
Very beautiful flower, and very sharply captured earwig!

Hello Catherine
another great picture, sharp details, background and light perfect. A nice image. Greetings, Paolo

Hello again Catherine. splendid macro with great charmy athmosphere.
TFS. Kind regards,

Hi Catherine,.
very fine capture of this Forfucula,
with fantastic flowers. Both, Forfucula and flowers are in detail and composition is great. Very nice blurred BG. The droplets are added value.
Thanks for sharing.

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