(Barnes 2005; Houseman 2007; Klass 1981)
- Barnes, J.K. 2005. Arthropod Museum Notes: Silverfish. University of Arkansas Arthropod Museum. Last Modified 1/23/2008. Retrieved Sept 15, 2011 from http://www.uark.edu/ua/arthmuse/silfsh.html
- Houseman, R.M. 2007. "Silverfish and Firebrats" Division of Plant Sciences, University of Missouri Extension. Accessed Sept 15, 2011 from http://extension.missouri.edu/publications/DisplayPub.aspx?P=G7376l
- Klass, C. (1981; updated 2008). "Silverfish and Firebrats", factsheet. Cornell University Cooperative Extension, Insect Diagnostics Laboratory. Retrieved as pdf September 15, 2011 from http://www.entomology.cornell.edu/cals/entomology/extension/idl/idlfactsheetlist.cfm
Silverfish are found commonly as human commensals worldwide. They are thought to be endemic to the Palearctic.
Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Introduced ); palearctic (Introduced , Native ); oriental (Introduced ); ethiopian (Introduced ); neotropical (Introduced ); australian (Introduced )
Other Geographic Terms: cosmopolitan
Silverfish are wingless insects that have a carrot-shaped, flat body with silver and grey scales. They are 0.8 - 1.9 cm long. They also have three tail-like appendages and two antennae on their head. Each of the tail-like appendages are almost as long their body. Two point to the sides, while the other one is in the middle, pointing backwards.
Range length: 0.8 to 1.9 cm.
Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; heterothermic ; bilateral symmetry
- Caron, M., 1997. "Silverfish and Firebrats" (On-line). Accessed October 29, 2000 at http://bluehen.ags.udel.edu/deces/hyg/hyg-11.htm.
- Houge, L., 1993. Insects of the Los Angeles Basin. Los Angeles, CA: Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
- McGavin, C., 2000. Insects: Spiders and other Terrestrial Arthropods. New York, NY: Dorling Kindersley.
Natural habitat is hidden in leaf litter, under rocks and logs, and in other natural crevices. When silverfish live indoors, they are most commonly found behind furniture, in books, near sinks or in basements. They prefer temperatures that are 70 to 80 degrees.
Habitat Regions: temperate ; terrestrial
Terrestrial Biomes: savanna or grassland ; forest ; rainforest ; scrub forest
Other Habitat Features: urban ; suburban ; agricultural
- 2000. "The Bug Clinic" (On-line). Accessed October 28, 2000 at http://www.bugclinic.com/Silverfish_firebrat.htm.
- Sanders, P., 1999. "Silverfish and Firebrats" (On-line). Accessed October 30, 2000 at http://www.muextension.missouri.edu/xplor/agguides/pests/g07376.htm.
it lives in europe,north america and new zealand.
Common silverfish prefer to eat materials that come from plants because of the carbohydrates and protein. They eat foods such as glue, wallpaper paste, bookbindings, paper, photographs, starch in clothing, cotton, linen, and rayon fabric. They also eat damp textiles and organic material. Although they prefer organic material, they also eat non-organic material. This species also likes dried foods and human foods such as sugar, flour, and breakfast cereal. (The Bug Clinic 2000, Sanders 1999).
Life History and Behavior
When silverfish mate, the male silverfish puts his sperm on a silk thread on the ground and then the female silverfish picks it up. The fertilized eggs are then laid in cracks and crevices. At a temperature of 22 - 27 degrees C, female silverfish can lay approximately 100 eggs in their lifetime. They lay one to three eggs at a time in small groups and may lay several eggs over a period of weeks. The eggs hatch in three to six weeks; the length of time depends on the temperature. Rate of growth also depends on temperature. Females do not have a certain season when they lay their eggs. They usually lay eggs in secluded places like behind books or closet shelves. After hatching, all the life stages are similar in appearance, except for their size. (Caron 1997, Washington State University 1997, Sanders 1999)
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Silverfish are generally considered nuisance pests. They have no effect on human health. They usually do relatively little damage, but will feed on paper, book bindings, wallpaper, rayon drapes, starched cotton, linen, and silk (Washington State University 1997).
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