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Insect Identification

North American Bristletails

Bristletails represent one of the more overlooked groupings of insects.


Bristletails come in two distinct categories - jumping and non-jumping. There are at least 500 species of the former and 450 species of the latter globally with 35 and 30, respectively, of these residing in North America. The more common of these species is the Silverfish with its noticeable antenna, compound eyes (some species) and filamentous appendages at the rear. This group is characterized by their extremely flexible bodies which allow them access to the shallowest of spaces in any home. They will eat both human food sources as well as paper material. Additionally, they are generally found within the pages of old books for they also eat the glue within. Other food types include starch-based sources as well as silks and linens. They seem to favor synthetic man-made fibers as well.

There are a total of 5 North American Bristletails in the Insect Identification database. Entries are listed below in alphabetical order.

Firebrats are part of the same order as Silverfish. They have a long and flat silvery body with spike-like hairs protruding f...
Gray Silverfish
These fast insects are usually found around dark, warm places inside a home (ovens, furnaces, fireplaces, bathroom vents, clo...
Japygid Dipluran
Diplurans are beginning to no longer be considered insects in the taxonomic community. They are currently grouped in a subphy...
Jumping Bristletail
Jumping Bristletails are tiny insects that have a hunched back like shrimp, an abdomen like a Silverfish and three 'tails' at...
These little creatures can be found near the dark, warm places of the home (ovens, furnaces, fireplaces, bed, clothes dryer)....

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