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Silverfish (Lepisma saccharina)


Small, silver gray, wingless insects, Lepisma saccharina, that live in dark, warm, moist interior regions. The silverfish life cycle is 2 to 4 years and the adults can reach 12.5 millimeters in length. Eggs hatch in 19 to 43 days; nymphs become adults in 3 to 4 months. Silverfish target starchy type food and especially enjoy glue bindings, textiles, drawings, wallpaper, and photographs with glazed or painted surfaces.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Lepisma saccharina (common silverfish); silver fish (sp); silver witch; sugar fish; wood fish; Silberfischchen (Deut.); zilvervisje (Ned.)

Silverfish damage

Other Properties

Damage ranges from surface erosion to holes with irregular outlines

Additional Information

º Silverfish

° L. Zycherman and J.R. Schrock, A Guide to Museum Pest Control, FAIC, Washington, DC, 1988.

° J.Dawson, "Solving Museum Insect Problems: Chemical Control" CCI Technical Bulletin No. 15.

Additional Images

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998
  • Lynda A. Zycherman, J.Richard Schrock, A Guide to Museum Pest Control, FAIC and Association of Systematics Collections, Washington DC, 1988
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
  • J. Dawson, CCI Technical Bulletin, 'Solving Museum Insect Problems: Chemical Control' , Canadian Conservation Institute, Ottawa, No. 15
  • Hermann Kuhn, Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art and Antiquities, Butterworths, London, 1986
  • George Savage, Art and Antique Restorer's Handbook, Rockliff Publishing Corp, London, 1954
  • G.Caneva, M.P.Nugari, O.Salvadori, Biology in the Conservation of Works of Art, ICCROM, Rome, 1991