Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 23, pp 22766–22774 | Cite as

An exploratory study of energy reserves and biometry as potential tools for assessing the effects of pest management strategies on the earwig, Forficula auricularia L

  • Séverine SuchailEmail author
  • Adrien Le Navenant
  • Yvan Capowiez
  • Alain Thiéry
  • Magali Rault
Research Article


Apple orchards are heavily treated crops and some sprayed insecticides are recognized to have toxic effects on non-target arthropods. Earwigs are important natural enemies in pip-fruit orchards and contribute to the biological control of aphids. In addition, due to their ease of capture and identification, they are an interesting potential bioindicator of the possible detrimental effects of different orchard management strategies. In this study, we measured the energy reserves and some morphological traits of Forficula auricularia L. sampled in apple orchards under management strategies (organic versus integrated pest management (IPM)). We observed a significant decrease in mass (22 to 27%), inter-eye width (3%), and prothorax width (2 to 5%) in earwigs from IPM compared to organic orchards. Energy body reserves also confirmed these results with a significant decrease of 48% in glycogen and 25 to 42% in lipid content in earwigs from IPM compared to organic orchards. However, the protein content was approximately 70% higher in earwigs from IPM than in organic orchards. Earwigs sampled in IPM orchards may adapt to minimize the adverse toxic effects of pesticide treatments using a large number of strategies, which are reflected in changes to their energy reserves. These strategies could, in turn, influence the population dynamics of natural enemies and impair their role in the biological control of pests in apple orchards.


Earwig Energy reserves Glycogen Lipid Protein Biometry Pest management strategy 



We thank Alain Tonetto (Pratim, Aix Marseille University) for assistance in taking the electronic microscopy photos.

Funding Information

We are grateful to the Rovaltain Fundation for its financial support of the I-ResPect project.

Supplementary material

11356_2018_2371_MOESM1_ESM.docx (54 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 53 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Séverine Suchail
    • 1
    Email author
  • Adrien Le Navenant
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yvan Capowiez
    • 3
  • Alain Thiéry
    • 1
  • Magali Rault
    • 1
  1. 1.UAPV, Université d’Avignon et des Pays de Vaucluse, Aix Marseille Univ, CNRS IRD, Institut Méditerranéen de Biodiversité et d’Ecologie Marine et Continentale (IMBE), Pôle AgrosciencesAvignon CedexFrance
  2. 2.INRA, Unité PSH, Equipe Ecologie de la Production Intégrée, Site AgroparcAvignon Cedex 9France
  3. 3.INRA, UMR 1114 Environnement Méditerranéen et Modélisation des Agro-Hydrosystèmes (EMMAH), Site AgroparcAvignon Cedex 9France

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