Silverfish Essay, Research Paper


John Smith


3rd Period

NAME OF INSECT: Silverfish

HABITAT AND RANGE: Silverfish normally live outdoors under rocks, bark and leaf

mold, in the nests of birds and mammals, and in ant and termite nests. However,

many are found in houses and are considered a pest, or at least a nuisance, by

homeowners. Usually they are found trapped in a bathtub, sink, or washbasin.

DIET: The Silverfish will feed on almost anything. A partial list includes

dried beef, flour, starch, paper, gum, glue, cotton, linen, rayon, silk, sugar,

molds, breakfast cereals, book bindings, and wall paper paste

MOUTH PART TYPE: The Silverfish has a concealed chewing mouth part.

LIFE SPAN: Most Silverfish bugs live for about two to 2 1/2 years.

COMPLETE SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION: Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Arthropoda

Sub-phylum: Chelicerata Class: Insecta Order: Thysanum Family: Lepismati

Genus: Metalus Species: Gerrainus

LIFE CYCLE: Silverfish undergo incomplete metamorphosis. Adults lay eggs in

small groups containing a few to 50 eggs. The eggs are very small and deposited

in cracks and crevices. A female normally lays less than 100 eggs during her

life span . Under ideal conditions, the eggs hatch in two weeks, but may take up

to two months to hatch. The young nymphs are very much like the adults except

for size. Several years are required before they are sexually mature, and they

must mate after each molt if viable eggs are to be produced. Populations do not

build up rapidly because of their slow development rate and the small number of

eggs laid.

ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE: Silverfish sometimes feed on book binding and the paste

that holds on wall paper causing damage to many houses.

IS IT A SOCIAL INSECT? Yes I think that the Silverfish is social because it

lives in colonies.

3 INTERESTING FACTS: Some can live up to one year with out food, some can live

up to eight years, can jump up to 1 1/2 feet

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