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  • Gray Silverfish - (Ctenolepisma longicaudata)

    Gray Silverfish - (Ctenolepisma longicaudata)

    Gray Silverfish are usually spotted indoors, scurrying around floors and up walls, looking for a warm place to rest.

    Picture of Gray Silverfish
    Staff Writer (1/18/2014): 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.

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    Details of the:
    Gray Silverfish

    Category: Bristletail
    Common name: Gray Silverfish
    Scientific Name: Ctenolepisma longicaudata
    Other Names: Silverfish

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Thysanura
          Family: Lepismatidae
           Genus: Ctenolepisma
            Species: longicaudata

    Size (Adult, Length): 10mm to 20mm (0.39in to 0.79in)

    Identifying Colors: gray, black, silver

    Additional Descriptors: fast, tail, three, flat, silver

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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