Its body is mainly black, around an I ch long and it has long translucent pinkish red antennae and four legs (at least I can only identify four legs)
I found it on my bed earlier and have been worried in case it is harmful in any way although I'm sure I'm being melodramatic!
Thanks in advance,
Message was edited by: Ezmies
Are you in the UK?
I wonder if it's the bone house earwig but it's rare here. See -
That's the one! Thank you very much Jaguarondi. No wonder I had such difficulty finding out what it was - I've tried to find other info now you've identified the species for me but there doesn't seem to be much more available. Have you any idea how to find out how prevalent they are in the UK? Oh, and to answer your question, yes, I'm in Oxford
Thanks again for your help!
On the second link I gave you (The Orthoptera one) there is a contact page. I suggest you email one of the organisers and ask their advice re the identification and whether the record is of interest. If you do, perhaps you can let us know.
Super, will certainly do so, thank you for the advice. I'll let you know the outcome.
Meanwhile, I've reaslied that the photo came out somewhat distorted so I am attaching some which you will hopefully be able to view properly.
Message was edited by: Ezmies
Are you using Internet Explorer? Images do appear distorted on some sites with IE. Best to use Firefox or Chrome.
Thank you. Can you see the last 3 images ok?
Yes, they're fine, but so were the original ones for me (I use Firefox)
Hello both, thank you for this very interesting post. I agree that the photo in your first link, jaguarondi, looks just like Sarah's photos of her earwig. However, I think the link is probably labelled incorrectly, i.e. it is not a Bone-house earwig (Marava arachidis) but something else. Below are some scans from Marshall & Haes 1988 "Grasshoppers and Allied Insects" for Marava arachidis. The description does not fit your photos, Sarah, as your earwig has wings (the second set of yellow spots) and the colours are very different. So I don't think it is Marava arachidis, but I don't know what else it might be - I will try and find out. Best wishes, Bjorn (Grasshoppers and allied insects recording scheme).
Thanks for this Bjorn. I wasn't convinced by the ID of bone house earwing as the various images for it on the web seem so varied. If you can find out what it I would be interested to know.
Sarah, have you recently returned from a holiday abroad, and if so from where? That might help with the identification.
Or best of all, catch the insect!
Here is a summary of an email from Malcolm Lee:
“Those two spots on the elytra and the yellow wingtips seem distinctive. A quick search came up with this similar earwig, going by the name Doru albipes - http://www.whatsthatbug.com/2009/12/20/earwig-from-puerto-rico/. The website says it comes from the Greater and Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean.
However, the first link [provided by jaguarondi above] is to a Turkish website, and the checklist for Turkish earwigs on the Earwig Research Centre also has three similar species http://www.earwigs-online.de/TR/tr.html: Either Anechura species, or Forficula smyrnensis. In the images of those dead specimens, the Anechura species have dark heads, whereas Forficula smyrnensis has a pale head. Sarah’s images show a pale head, so Forficula smyrnensis might be a better bet.
However, it seems likely that if there is a similar looking species in the Caribbean, there are probably others in different parts of the world.”
Hi Bjorn,Crumbs, yes, as a matter of fact we returned from holiday in Turkey a week ago today. The Forficula smyrnensis is definitely more closely matching tham any of the other ones in the pictures. In that case, it must have hopped into a suitcase or been lurking amounst some clothes and been packed! That makes sense now; great detective work thank you - and please thank Malcolm! Although I guess it is rather disappointing for you as it isn't a new found species in the uk afterall if it has just been accidentally brought over, so sorry on that count. I did set the traps as you suggested but no joy I'm afraid. Also I tried searching behind furniture and so on with a torch but again, no joy as yet. I take it that means the insect is no longer of use to you?
Thank you so much for all of your efforts,you've been really helpfeul. Thanks also to Malcolm Lee and to Jaguarondi who recommended you to me in the first place as someone who knows their stuff
All the best,
Well done Bjorn, that was interesting.
Well done everybody - good teamwork and interesting outcome.
Bjorn, your last post said 'better still, catch the insect'. Well, I don't have the original but it seems to have had some offspring; my husband just found a much smaller version of the one I found last week but this time in our bathroom. I have it in a container at the moment. What should I do with it????
Great, that's very good (and thank you for your interesting previous post). You could add a tiny bit of food for it into the container and post it to: Bjorn Beckmann, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Wallingford OX10 8BB. Or if you prefer, I can pick it up in Oxford as I'll be there at the weekend - email me your address to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01491692564 as before. That should then give a certain identification hopefully - but it seems very likely to be Forficula smyrnensis. Many thanks! Bjorn
Hi, will give it a tiny bit of cheese (unless you recommend something else). This one is probably about half the size of the last but exactly the same in every other respect. I now have some great, clear photos and also a video of it - fascinating (although it is the first time I have ever really observed the behaviour of an insect so closely.
Should I give it water? The local nature group also want to see it - I thnk one of the people who run it is connected with the University; is this ok before you collect it? And what happens next?
as you already know Sarah - with the help of the specimen, Judith Marshall at the Natural History Museum London has now confirmed the identification of the earwig as indeed Forficula smyrnensis (female), as Malcolm Lee had suggested. It will be added to the collection of the Oxford Museum of Natural History for permanent storage.
Thanks again for this very interesting find, Sarah.
Thanks for the confirmation on this interesting find.