Zygentoma belong to the nocturnal insects and are found free-living mainly in the tropics and subtropics. Typical for all species is their elongated abdomen, which becomes narrower towards the back, and the three long tail appendages and antennae. Development is hemimetabolous, and the Zygentoma are sexually mature after about eight molts. However, they continue to molt thereafter for growth. Zygentoma feed on organic materials and, unlike most animals, can digest cellulose into sugars without symbionts.
Some synanthropic, or human-adapted, species are distributed worldwide and can occur in heated dwellings throughout the year. There are no health pests among these species. However, some species are considered nuisance pests. Few species have economic and cultural importance as material pests, as they can cause significant damage by eating paper in archives, libraries, and museums.
In our breeding, we keep sensitive strains of species
relevant as material pests or nuisance:
Ctenolepisma longicaudata (paper silverfish; gray silverfish)
Lepisma saccharina (silverfish)