Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wildlife Wednesday - total mystery

Today I present a complete mystery to me!

This was on my wall the other night, inside the house (south coast NSW) and was about 10 mm long.

It reminded me of an earwig, but it doesn't have the pincers at the back.

One of the things I love about Wildlife Wednesday is that it makes me go and investigate the bugs and creatures that I see. If I didn't do this blog, I'd just forget I ever saw this creature.

So, I went to trusty old Google and on the CSIRO website, I found something interesting. You can go here if you're interested. But in summary,
a sentence in the entry says, "Earwigs are sometimes confused with Staphylinid beetles, but can be distinguished from the latter by the presence of pincer-like cerci, which Staphylinid beetles lack."

Before I got diverted, I found this interesting fact about earwigs - "Earwigs mate end to end, often grasping each other's pincers, Female earwigs are able to store sperm for several months before fertilisation. A female will lay hers eggs in a burrow she has excavated or in natural crevices in the soil, where she will stand guard protectively until the young hatch. The female guards the eggs from predators and constantly turns and cleans them, preventing fungus diseases. Upon hatching the young earwigs resemble small adults and remain under the protection of their mother for a short period of time. They must then disperse to new areas or risk being eaten by her."

While on the site I tried keying it out and got a Phasymid (stick and leaf insects, which I don't think is right. I liked earwig better)

So, off I went to Staphylinid beetles. They're also called Rove Beetles and this site has some US information. The trusty Australian Museum has a page but they're called Devil's Coach-horse Beetles (what a cool name). They say they have bright red heads, which mine doesn't. There's some information here about them being a terrestrial beetle that's found near water.

I wonder if it's an earwig who in an amorous moment lost his pincers?


  1. I hate earwigs. Earwigs are like spiders to me.

    1. Hey Lily,
      Sorry I put a great whopping photo there for you.

      I used to like them until one latched onto my finger when I was picking up the soap in the shower. Anyone who says they don't hurt, hasn't been pincered!!

      Cate xo