Silverfish (Lepisma saccharina) – In the wee dark hours if you get up for a cuppa tea, or to pop to the loo, you might see the back end of one of these little critters as it scurries off to escape the sudden glare of light. It is from a primitive group of insects and has “negative phototaxis”, which means it will instinctively flee from light.
It is a nocturnal scavenger which feeds on carbohydrates and sugars. The species scientific name, ‘saccharina’ literally means ‘starch eater’. It will eat glue, book bindings, paper, photos, sugar, coffee, hair, carpet, clothing and dandruff. It can become a pest in libraries and museums for it voracious appetitie for starches. Outdoors it lives under rocks, in leaf litter, caves, and ant nests. They can live for a year without eating. It has a lifecycle of around 2 1/2 to 3 1/2years, so it is quite a long-lived insect.
I initially found this one in my kitchen sink. Sometimes they are also found in bathtubs. In days gone this gave the impression that they came in the house via the drains, but no, they simply find our sinks and sanitary wear too slippery to climb out once they are in.
Oh, and anybody up for a photo challenge, give these little fast scurrying blighters a go. I was so lucky just to get these shots in.