Skin Wings — Earwig wing folding

10 Jan
The wing folding of the common earwig (Forficulidae).

The wing folding of the common earwig (Forficulidae).

Just a quick set of pictures I threw together while I was practicing my wing spreading techniques.  Earwigs are tricky because their hind wings are so delicate, as well as compactly folded.  In earwigs the hind wings are hidden under the short tough forewings (tegmina) and may be folded up to 40 times.  Earwigs can actually use their pincers to help them fold up their wings like insect origami  You can see some of the fan folding in the third picture.  For some reason the wings also seemed to want to twist upside down on me.

The order name Dermaptera means “skin wings” and refers to the leathery texture of the forewings.  I was surprised to learn earwigs had wings when I started studying entomology, because the common species we have locally is secondarily wingless in the adult form.

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