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Species (Lepisma saccharina) of quick-moving, slender, flat, wingless insect having three tail bristles and silvery scales. Silverfish are found worldwide. Females deposit fertilized eggs in cracks and hidden places. The hatched young are scaleless and have short appendages. Silverfish normally live indoors and, because they eat starchy materials (e.g., paste, bookbindings, and wallpaper), can cause much damage. They live two to three years and molt throughout life.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on silverfish, visit Britannica.com.