Ctenolepisma lineata

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Ctenolepisma lineata
Ctenolepisma lineata pae.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Zygentoma
Family: Lepismatidae
Genus: Ctenolepisma
C. lineata
Binomial name
Ctenolepisma lineata
Fabricius, 1775

Ctenolepisma lineata is a primitive insect of the order Zygentoma. It is generally similar to the closely related silverfish but can be distinguished by being rather stouter and less shiny with all appendages (antennae and 3 "tails") noticeably longer. The abdomen is often marked with dark brown lines and the species is sometimes called four-lined silverfish.

This species is native to southern Europe but is now found throughout most of the world as an accidental introduction although it is absent from polar and cooler temperate regions (e.g. the British Isles). It is found both indoors and outdoors and can be a nuisance pest.

Recent studies on this species in Europe suggest that there is enough geographical variation to justify splitting into several species. One form which has already been given specific status is Ctenolepisma almeriensis of south-eastern Spain.


  • Chinery, Michael (1991) [1986]. Collins Guide to the Insects of Britain and Western Europe. ISBN 0-00-219170-9.
  • Fauna Europaea
  • Picture