They also known as fish moth are small wingless insects. These belong to the order of Thysanura and have scientific Name of Lespisma Saccharina. The name ‘Silverfish’ is derived from the insect’s silvery light grey and blue colour and its fish-like appearance when it is moving. The body of this insect is covered with fine scales and, generally, they have soft body parts. From its scientific Name, one can easily deduce that the insect feeds on carbohydrate such as sugar and starches.
The adult Silverfish is 3 to 4 inches in length with a flattened body from top to bottom and an elongated and oval body. The insect have two antennae and three long ‘tails’.
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LIFE CYCLEThe reproduction life of Silverfish is in three phases which may last over a half of an hour. In the first phase, the male and female stands face to face making contact with their trembling antennae, then they back off and return to the same position; this, they do repeatedly over a number of times. Second phase involves the male running while being pursued by the female that is after the touching antennae ritual. In the third phase, the male and female stand in a head-to-tail position side by side with the male vibrating its tail against the female. Lastly, the male lays a spermatophore (i.e a sperm capsule enclosed in gosammer) which the female takes into her body through her ovipositor in order for fertilization to take place.
The process of laying eggs in an adult female Silverfish is a continuous one and it may produce close to or over a hundred eggs during in her life time. Eggs are usually deposited in holes and cracks; this deposition of eggs could either be singly or in small groups; and may take between two weeks and two months to hatch. The eggs are whitish and about 0.8mm (0.0031 in) long.
The Nymphs of Silverfish are more like the adults in appearance and shape except that they are white; and these grow to be adults between three months to three years through the moulting process. They may moult 17 to 66 times in their lifetime, and could go thirty rounds of moulting in a single year! This is well above the usual range for an insect.