Living With Silverfish Pheromone


Photo: Siga

Silverfish, Lepisma saccharina, will form aggregations of males, females and juveniles in sheltered areas, often near to a food source. The pheromone is non-volatile and is preceived by contact with pheromone deposits on a substrate. Woodbury and Gries* studied behavioral responses to filter paper cones that had been exposed to silverfish. When placed in a test chamber, naive silverfish preferred the silverfish-exposed cones to cones with no exposure. This suggests the presence of a chemical on the filter paper deposited by silverfish. Males, females and juveniles all leave detectable deposits, however it is not clear where the chemical is produced. Silverfish did not respond to saliva, feces or several body parts of silverfish. The aggregation pheromone may be useful in organizing silverfish groups for mating and other purposes.

*Woodbury, N & Gries, G. 2007. Pheromone-based arrestment behavior in the common silverfish, Lepisma saccharina, and giant silverfish, Ctenolepisma longicaudata.
Journal Chem. Ecol. 33: 1351-1358.

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, Biomaterials, by jjneal, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Living With Silverfish Pheromone

  1. Jude t Plummer says:

    Are there any pheromone laced silverfish glue traps?

  2. jjneal says:

    I know of no traps with silverfish aggregation pheromone. It is a non-volatile contact pheromone. Most silverfish traps contain glue to trap the silverfish. A silverfish will get stuck in the glue before it contacts the pheromone so the pheromone is unlikely to increase captures.

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