Gray Silverfish (Ctenolepisma longicaudata)
Detailing the identifying qualities of the Gray Silverfish, including physical features and territorial reach.
Updated: 1/18/2014; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Gray Silverfish are usually spotted indoors, scurrying around floors and up walls, looking for a warm place to rest.
These fast insects are usually found around dark, warm places inside a home (ovens, furnaces, fireplaces, bathroom vents, clothes dryer). They are very flat and can run under baseboards and into other tight spaces to hide. It has three thread-like tails found at tip of its abdomen. Silverfish bodies are covered in flexible and slippery scales that help prevent the insect from capture by bigger things like centipedes and spiders.
All Silverfish are attracted to dry, starchy substances, which comprise their food. It is not unusual to find them wandering around in pantries where bags of flour, sacks of potatoes and other starchy delights are stored. The crusty glue that binds old book pages together is also source of food to Gray Silverfish. It is also not unusual to find them in the pages of old books, or running even around libraries. Gray Silverfish can live for months without eating. They are harmless to humans, though many humans consider them a nuisance.
Another interesting fact about these insects is how long it takes them to mature. Some Silverfish need 2 years to become fully-grown adults, and other species take even longer.