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Another problem I'm sure, is that silverfish live in damp, humid conditions, in corners, crevices and niches of kitchens, attics and basements. These habits certainly don't render them endearing, even if it has allowed them to spread all over the world. They haven't changed much in some 300 million years so they could be justified in looking down on our attitude with some kind of benevolent pity. They might even assume that same gaze on almost all other insects in the world today since silverfish have hit on many features that have become primitive through sheer success.
First thing's first though, I simply find silverfish to be attractive little beasties. The "silver" comes from their beautiful metallic sheen. "Fish" refers to their fishlike shape and the wiggle in their walk which looks akin to the undulations of swimming fish. They reach about 1 centimetre to an inch in length so they are smaller than most fish, but not all.
Silverfish feed on carbohydrates, which seems to translate to "most things". Sugar and starch from sweet foods, pasta, rice, bread and flour is fair enough. But then we move onto paper, glue and various fabrics, meaning they eat books and clothes. Also dead insects and their own shed exoskeletons. They seem to eat just about anything that was at one time part of something alive, it's pretty damn impressive. Despite all that, it is still said that they can go about a year without food, which is all the more remarkable for a tiny creature that lives for 2 to 8 years or so. You might see how they've managed to stick around for so long!
Here's something interesting: silverfish don't have wings. In fact, they've NEVER had wings. Almost all insects in the world either have wings or had them and lost them. All the insects that have never evolved wings look quite a lot like silverfish and are closely related.
How about some silverfish romance? There's quite a charming little ritual involved. It starts with the male and female standing face to face with their antennae touching, before backing off and returning repeatedly. Then, the male runs off and the female gives chase. No doubt there is much giggling to be heard in the warm breeze, replete with pink blossoms and fluttering butterflies dancing gaily above sun dappled meadows, as the gentle babbling of a brook quietly applauds the lovers and murmurs in approval. Or whatever else you keep in your basement.
It is at this point that we get another look at ancient, insect life. Instead of copulating, the male simply drops a sort of bag called a spermatophore. The female picks this up to fertilise her eggs, which number 50 at most. They are laid in crevices and, once hatched, the little silverfish look almost exactly like their parents. Again, almost all other insects have larvae or nymphs that look at least quite different, if not completely different, from adults. Silverfish, on the other hand, will grow and moult and grow, reach sexual maturity, and then continue to grow and moult and grow.
So, there you have it. I can't stop anyone from despising anything, but I can at least note how unique and incredibly successful the silverfish is and perhaps even suggest that you RESPECT YOUR ELDERS!