Description: 3/8-1/2" (9-13 cm). Tapering, carrot-shaped. Silver-gray, coated with scales. Threadlike antennae and 3 tail filaments, all shorter than body. Small black eyes. Maxillary palps.

  • Food Dried cereals, flour, glue, and starch, including stiffeners used in clothing and bound books, and coated papers used in magazines.
  • Life Cycle Oval white eggs are dropped in a few places week after week. Eggs hatch in 2-8 weeks. Nymphs, 1/8-1/4" (4-5 mm), have the same body form as adults. In the South full size is attained in about 2 years, longer in the North.
  • Habitat Indoors in warm, dry or damp places, including closets, bookcases, behind baseboards, in partitions, or in bathtubs.
  • Range Worldwide in temperate climates.
  • This insect has a scaly covering that helps it to escape from the grip of ants and spiders. Silverfish can survive without food for months.