1932

Abstract

Earwigs are often known for the forceps-like appendage at the end of their abdomen, urban legends about them crawling into human ears, and their roles as pest and biological control agents. However, they are much less known for their social life. This is surprising, as many of the 1,900 species of earwigs show social behaviors toward eggs, juveniles, and adults. These behaviors typically occur during family and group living, which may be obligatory or facultative, last up to several months, and involve only a few to several hundred related or unrelated individuals. Moreover, many individuals can alternate between solitary and group living during their life cycle, an ability that probably prevailed during the emergence of social life. In this review, I detail the diversity of group living and social behavior in earwigs and show how further developing this knowledge in Dermaptera can improve our general understanding of the early evolution of social life in insects.

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2024-01-25
2024-06-25
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