Order Thysanura



Silverfish are thought to belong to one of the oldest existing insect orders, more than 400 million years old. These pre-historic looking creatures live up to 2.5 years and measure from 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, are carrot-shaped, and are gray or silver with three filaments that extend from the rear.

Silverfish seek a diet of starch, paste, glue and paper products. They are nocturnal and very fast, as well as having the ability to jump. Silverfish seek habitats in excessively humid environments and will search out books, wallpaper and other paper and high starch delicacies. Silverfish go through a 2 to 3 month reproductive cycle and will lay up to 50 eggs per batch.


Silverfish have an interesting three phase mating ritual, which may last over half an hour. In the first phase, the male and female stand face to face, their trembling antennae touching, then repeatedly back off and return to this position. In the second phase the male runs away and the female chases him. In the third phase the male and female stand side by side and head-to-tail, with the male vibrating his tail against the female; the male lays a sperm capsule covered in gossamer, which the female takes into her body via her ovipositor to fertilize the eggs she will lay later on. (Factoid Source: wikipedia)