The insect group Dermaptera is traditionally divided into the Forficulina, comprising the majority of the species, the African rodent commensals, Hemimerina, and the Indo-Malayan bat commensals, Arixeniina. Numerous contrasting classifications and phylogenies exist for the Dermaptera, based on morphological, molecular and biogeographic data. We have collected varying number of sequences from fifteen Forficulina and six outgroups to establish a molecular hypothesis of the group's phylogeny. Despite repeated attempts, we were unable to obtain sequence data for Arixeniina and Hemimerina. We obtained partial sequences for four taxa for cytochrome oxidase 1 (with two additional taxa from GenBank), twelve for 16S rDNA, fifteen for 28S rDNA expansion region 1, seven for expansion region 9-10, and nine for 18S rDNA (plus seven sequences from GenBank). In combined analyses, the root of the Dermaptera lies between Anisolabididae and other families. This position is not directly supported by bootstrap analyses. Indirect evidence for the basal position of Anisolabididae, Pygidicranidae and Apachyidae is however found in the association of the four other studied groups (Labiduridae, Spongiphoridae, Chelisochidae and Forficulidae) in a derived clade with significant bootstrap support. The division of Forficulina into Catadermaptera and Eudermaptera is not supported as the former is paraphyletic in the present analyses. Eudermaptera is monophyletic with bootstrap support but is sister group to Labiduridae, a taxon usually assigned to the Catadermaptera.