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Earwigs

Order of insects that are usually beneficial insects in viticulture. The common earwig (Forficula auricularia) is considered an omnivore that feeds on both plant and animal food. Development proceeds from a whitish, oval egg through four to five larval stages to the reproductive stages. The male grows to 10 to 16 millimetres, the female to 9 to 14 millimetres. The maroon animals are armoured and have strong pincers at the end of the body, which are used to grasp prey and to grasp the female's hind end during mating. The hibernation takes place as an adult in the soil, in which about 60 eggs are already laid by each female in winter to spring. Even after the larvae hatch, they are still supplied with food. The adult forages at night. Aphids and small caterpillars (e.g. owl caterpillars) are consumed. Earwigs are also involved in the decomposition of dead biomass.

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Egon Mark
Diplom-Sommelier, Weinakademiker und Weinberater, Volders (Österreich)

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