The earwigs, Dermaptera, are a group of insects which have been present since the Mesozoic. They have a relatively sparse fossil record, yet their life activities on and in soil or sediment leave traces with the potential for long-term preservation. These may include some burrows seen in Quaternary dunes and other sandy substrates. The well-known, cosmopolitan, sand-dwelling species Labidura riparia is examined as a potential model and reference for dermapteran tracemakers there and elsewhere in the geological record, through experimentally produced shelter burrows and trackways from wild-caught, laboratory-raised specimens. Shelter burrows were typically U-shaped with a pair of surface entrances, and these U-shapes could be additionally modified into Y-shapes or linked together to form a network. Trackways of L. riparia generally resembled those of other insects but may show features consistent with dermapteran anatomy such as tail-drag impressions produced by cerci.

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