2009/01/30

Silverfish in washroom

I came across a Silverfish (Lepisma saccharina) in my bathroom this morning. I never really seen them in the morning before, and they are usually too fast for me to take pictures of or to catch them.

But I successfully trapped this one inside my critter-container and had a fun time taking pictures and marveling these interesting-looking (but disliked by my mother) creature.

Then I realized that I don't know a whole lot about these insects. That was when I went to Google and Wikipedia for help.

One interesting fact is that Silverfish belongs to the ancient and primitive insect order Thysanura, a group that has existed for over 300 million years. Wow, talking about a living fossil right in my house!

As you can probably tell, it has sensory bristles (and insects from this order are also known as bristletails) that detect air currents produced by predators.

It also has a complete set of abdominal leglets. While the caudal end consisted of a median caudal appendage and paired cerci. The origin of its common name is from the insect's silvery color (as seen in the picture above), as well as the fish-like movements when it's running and escaping from predators.

While taking pictures, I left the Silverfish in an uncovered plastic shallow dish. Thinking it couldn't escape, I turned around to find more information on it. When I turned back, it was gone! Back to hiding in cool and damp places and eating things that contains starch, I guess.

Reference & Other links:
- Barnes, Jeffrey K. (October 6, 2005). "Silverfish". Arthropod Museum Notes. University of Arkansas. Retrieved on 2009-01-29.
- Scanning Electron Microscope pictures of Silverfish: http://www.mta.ca/dmf/silverfish.htm
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2 comments:

Huckleberry said...

Interesting!

PSYL said...

Interesting indeed. Always amazes me how little I know about such a common critter in everyday homes.

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