Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada

Family Lepismatidae

Silverfish Ctenolepisma sp.? Pale silverfish? Silverfish: Lepisma saccharina? - Thermobia domestica Thermobia domestica What species of Zygentoma ? silverfish sp Unknown silverfish - Ctenolepisma lineatum
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Zygentoma (Silverfish)
Family Lepismatidae
Explanation of Names
Lepismatidae Latreille 1802
Numbers
>200 spp. in >40 genera total
Size
up to 19 mm; common spp. 8‒12 mm
Identification
unlike other families in our area, have compound eyes
Range
cosmopolitan
Habitat
often found indoors in warm, damp environments; the Common Silverfish (Lepisma saccharina) is frequently seen in bathrooms and kitchens, whereas the Firebrat (Thermobia domestica) is usually found in basements around furnaces and in insulation around hot water and heating pipes; these and other species also occur outdoors under bark, in leaf litter, caves, ant nests, etc.
Food
starchy foods, cereals, moist wheat flour, glue on book bindings and wallpaper; outdoor individuals eat lichens