Three Pronged Bristle Tail
THYSANURA: THREE-PRONGED BRISTLE-TAILS
- Small, cylindrical-tapering, wingless. Head with compound eyes. Slender antennae. Hind end tapers at the end with 3 slender ‘tails’.
- Body covered in scales.
- Simple biting mouthparts.
- Incomplete life cycle: egg, larva and adult. Continues to moult even after maturity (unlike proper insects).
How & where they live
- They are part of the soil fauna, feeding on decaying plant material in moist situations. Though needing moisture to avoid drying out, wild ones live in hot sunny situations, including the top of rocky seashores, heathland and limestone pavements.
- The Silverfish of household kitchens is the most familiar species; it is generally harmless.
- The Firebrat a bigger, browner version of the Silverfish was once commonly found in bakeries and other warm dry places. This species has declined in recent decades and Buglife would be keen to hear of any recent sightings.
Number of species
- In Britain 8 species, but only 4 occur in the wild.
- Worldwide about 700 species.
Its amazing: The Silverfish, often a humble resident in the kitchen where it feeds in the dark on crumbs and other scraps, may live several years.