What Bug Is That? The guide to Australian insect families.

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The most commonly encountered group of silverfish, occurring throughout most of Australia and offshore islands, including Lord Howe. Six of the species are cosmopolitan household pests, Ctenolepisma predominating. Most other species are found under bark or rocks, in ant or termite nests, or in litter.


Eyes present; body with scales, generally pigmented.


There are 5 described Australian species of Heterolepisma [although Paclt (1967) placed H. hartmeyeri in a monotypic genus Anisolepisma ] and 5 of Acrotelsella , plus several undescribed species of both. H. michaelseni has been collected from ant nests. Undetermined Ctenolepisma are known from termite nests and logs in Qld, N.S.W., S.A. and W.A., and 3 undescribed species of Lepisma have been found in termite nests and rotting logs in northern and central Australia; both subgenera of Lepisma , i.e. Lepisma and Tricholepisma , are represented. At least 2 undescribed genera are present, one from litter in the Victorian mallee and one from central Australia.

  • Acrotelsella devriesiana , female

  • Acrotelsella devriesiana , male

  • Lepismatidae

  • Giant European Silverfish, Ctenolepisma longicaudata

  • Ctenolepisma sp .