Silverfish (Lepismasaccharina) have been on the earth for more than 300 million years. They are of course classified in the same category as insects and not as animals. They do not have wings, but they are very fast in movement. Their fast movement helps them to take cover when an enemy predator is around. Unfortunately for them, they are easy targets for spiders. They are most active at night.
The name Silverfish originate from the fact that; their wiggling body movement resembles that of a fish. They are challenging to identify because of their silver-like body surface and very thin structure, making them opaque. Moreover, you find Silverfish in areas where our foot does not get to, humid environment and areas where there is plenty of food.
Furthermore, they are good decomposers. They also get their source of food through means by feeding on papers, books, dead insects, a good source of sugars and protein for them. They are easily stumbled upon in places like a bathtub, where there is always plenty of water. So because they do not have wings, they are stuck up there. Silverfish expected lifespan is between six to eight years if the condition is favorable.
Their juvenile develops into adulthood within a space of two years. The silverfish is of the male and female species. The females lay eggs in protected areas like; corners, cracks and under the carpet in large numbers. They are considered as a nuisance, but they do not bite, spread diseases. Still, some people are allergic to them, and they are hard to get off.
They belong to the order Zygentoma along with the animals commonly called Firebrats. Firebrats (Thermobiadomestica) and silverfish are technically different animals, and their names are often used interchangeably. Silverfish can nearly live a year without eating though. However, also parthenogenesis (reproduction of a female egg without fertilization from a male) have been observed in some species. Unlike the silverfish, Firebrats tends to prefer warmer environments in our homes.
Silverfish avoid light at all cost and will quickly scare into hiding if disturbed; in the wild, silverfish live in caves, woods, leaf litters and in a termite nest. Silverfish have been found living with Trichateluramanni (Tarantula). When they are in the company of themselves, silverfish can produce more than one hundred eggs in their lifetime after fertilization. Not all species of silverfish have been observed for reproduction method; silverfish eggs are picked up and fertilized by spermatophore; which is picked up by female silverfish after it has been deposited beneath the silk thread created by the males.
The females will lay their eggs 1 to 3 at a time in hidden places such under the rugs, and the eggs will hatch in 3-6 weeks. The babies are born looking like tiny versions of their parents and will molt as they reach adult size.
On average, silverfish are less than a centimeter in length. They can grow to be as big as 3 to 7 inch. Although that is not including their tail-like structures called caudal filaments. They can live up to four years depending on the species. Silverfish come in different colors, but many silverfish are silver in color. Silverfish have been around since before the dinosaurs. In fact, until 1926, the oldest insect fossil known discovered was from an animal from the zygentoma order. The good news is, you can find professional silverfish control operator near you to help you get rid of them, and live in a silverfish-free environment.