Silverfish!

Scythemantis

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 27, 2005
Messages
499


I caught all of these cuties in the utility room of a decrepit, abandoned college I explored with friends the past two days. They were running all along the walls and I'm sure I'd have caught dozens more if I stayed longer...I left behind a huge number of nymphs who were just too tiny to scoop up without harming them.

Sure, they're pests in some homes, but I very rarely see them and these are easily twice the size of the silverfish I'm used to.

I've heard that they breed slow and may cannibalize, but I'd still like to see if I can keep a population going...anyone experienced? I've heard they should never, ever be given water and that has been my experience with the few I've caught before (one drop, and they die within days) but is there anything else to them? They seem to love the fish flakes.

A booklouse was also running around in there, but it seems to have escaped (or gotten eaten?)
 

xhexdx

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 20, 2007
Messages
5,361
Nice.

Never heard of feeding them fishflakes, but if it works, it works!

I caught one several weeks ago, took pics, and let him go again:

Found one last night while cleaning out some crap in the garage, thought I'd snap a few shots and let it go.

Enjoy.







 

ZephAmp

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
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Mar 8, 2008
Messages
530
Mine died when I didn't give them humidity. Every 2-4 days I would open the container (a small deli cup with no holes in the lid) and exhale into it. Then I forgot to do this one week and the next thing I knew they were all dead. :(
 

ZergFront

Arachnoprince
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May 2, 2009
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1,958
I only really know that they are a pain to catch near any crevices and love food items with starch, sugar or both. Love marshmellows as I've often posted in many threads about them.

Your's look almost naked of scales. ;P
 

Scythemantis

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 27, 2005
Messages
499
I thought they looked awfully white, do they rub off easy? Not sure why they would all be that way.

Starch, eh? I might try dehydrated potato flakes.
 

Matt K

Arachnoangel
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Mar 27, 2007
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941
I used to have them cultured in a 32 oz. plastic container with a paper lid and they did fine. Fed them mashed up fish food and very decomposed leaves that was very dry, no substrate, dry egg cartons to live in-between, dry cotton ballsspaced inbetween that, and on top one cotton ball that would get a couple drops of water VERY infrequently (maybe a couple times per month)..... I don't know if they did well or poorly, but they did live and reproduce but not at any 'explosive' rate. Could have been temps, the way I kept them, or who knows.....
 

lampeye

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 13, 2011
Messages
2
YEARS ago, I got a copy of of a Japanese publication called Minima, devoted to miniature fish, plants and herps. In the section devoted to dart frogs, there was a picture of some type of bristletail (not silverfish or firebrats - jumping bristletails, I suspect) being cultured on eggcrate by the thousands. Unfortunately, it's in Japanese, so if there is culture info, I can't read it. Anyone know about culturing other bristletails as feeders? I imagine silverfish culture would be somewhat similar.
 

Cheshire

Arachnoking
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Jul 7, 2005
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3,157
I thought they looked awfully white, do they rub off easy? Not sure why they would all be that way.

Starch, eh? I might try dehydrated potato flakes.
They look like Lepismatids because they have eyes (unless you were collecting in Florida, in which case I can hit the keys if you wish), so they should have scales. Probably just got rubbed off.
 

sparular

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Jun 20, 2007
Messages
184
These little guys can digest cellulose meaning that they can survive on paper for quite some time. I can't remember where I read it but a researcher kept one for years feeding it filter paper and water. I typically find them in humid areas down here in Florida (everywhere is humid in FL) so I wonder if maybe they are sensitive to chlorine or chloramine or species differ in their humidity requirements. Either might explain the conflicting accounts. I've kept them in small plastic containers providing drops of water and detritius and they survived fine. From what I've read, they are slow to breed and lay few eggs. Keep us posted.
 

echostatic

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 14, 2007
Messages
129
They certainly do seem to like paper. I work in a print shop here in Texas and it's not unusual to see one scurrying for cover when opening a box of paper. (I suspect they like the cardboard more than the printing paper, as it's been treated by so many different things.)
 

GiantVinegaroon

Arachnoprince
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Jul 14, 2008
Messages
1,389
I thought they looked awfully white, do they rub off easy? Not sure why they would all be that way.

Starch, eh? I might try dehydrated potato flakes.
The "scales" do rub off easily. I think it's supposed to be a defensive mechanism to slip away easily? I could be wrong. But they do grow the scales back when they molt.

If you feed them books, get a paperback copy of a book you really hate.
 

Bugs In Cyberspace

Arachnodemon
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 10, 2006
Messages
721
I'm in rainy, fairly cold, Oregon and I'm looking for bugs all the time. I never see silverfish in our outside the house though I do see jumping bristletails.
 

gmrpnk21

Arachnobaron
Joined
Nov 1, 2010
Messages
319
I guess where you are in Florida makes a big difference. I see them all the time on the mountain bike trails and in older structures. I might go rooting around for some Blaberus discoidalis this weekend.
 
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