Behavior And Reproduction

The flat bodies of thysanurans allow them access to all kinds of narrow spaces as they search for food and mates at night. During the day they hide under stones or leaves. When they are alarmed, they can move with incredible speed.

Although the females of some species of silverfish can reproduce without mating, most species require males and females to produce fertilized eggs. Males deposit a sperm packet on the ground, beneath a silken thread. The packet is later picked up by the female. Females lay their eggs inside cracks and between spaces in leaf litter. The eggs are about 0.04 inches (1 millimeter) long and are longer than they are wide. At first they are soft and white, but after several hours they turn yellow and then brown. The larvae resemble small adults. Silver-fish continue to molt, or shed their outer skeletons, throughout their lives and may live for up to six years.

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