Living With Silverfish


Photo: Siga

Silverfish are common both indoors and outdoors. They feed on cellulose and other carbohydrates, preferring damp paper. Indoors, they feed on damp paper products, cardboard, and family photos. They are common in attics and can live in a wide range of temperature conditions. DeVries and Appel* studied the diet preferences of silverfish over a range of temperatures. At 15 degrees C, silverfish chose a diet of greater than 94% carbohydrate. At 30 degrees C, a diet of 58% carbohydrate was chosen with the remainder consisting of increased protein and lipid consumption. They noted little growth and molting at 15 degrees and much faster growth and increased molt frequency at 30 degrees. The silverfish consumed more food altogether at 30 degrees. Growth and molting both require more protein and lipids and this change in feeding preference may be a response physiological demands.

Zachary C. DeVries and Arthur G. Appel. 2014. Effects of temperature on nutrient self-selection in the silverfish Lepisma saccharina. Physiological Entomology. 39: 217–221.
DOI: 10.1111/phen.12064

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in behavior, by jjneal, Environment. Bookmark the permalink.

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