Lesser Earwig - Labia minor


At 5 or 6 mm Labia minor is about half the size of the common earwig Forficula auricularia and the antennae are a paler colour. The forceps, as will be seen from the photos, are much straighter than those of Forficula auricularia, the head is dark and the legs, pale. 

Identification difficulty

Associated with compost heaps, rubbish tips and other warm places.

Life History

Unusually for an insect, there is extensive maternal care of the eggs and offspring, with the mother feeding them for a week or two after they hatch. It has well developed wings will fly - probably more readily than the Common Earwig.  

UK Status

Widespread in England.

VC55 Status

Rarely recorded in Leicestershire and Rutland where we could trace only two records prior to October 2011, both from Rutland, however this may be because its small size and specific habitat means that it is easily overlooked.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map