Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Ctenolepisma longicaudata (Escherich, 1905): a common, but previously unregistered, species of silverfish in the Faroe Islands.

Abstract

We hereby report the finding of Ctenolepisma longicaudata (Escherich, 1905) in the Faroe Islands (62°N; 7°W), an isolated group of islands in the Northern Atlantic, approximately midway between Scotland and Iceland and >300 km from the nearest land mass (Shetland). C. longicaudata is a wingless insect belonging to the order Zygentoma. Other insects in this group include the common silverfish, Lepisma saccharina, which has previously been reported in the Faroe Islands, but it seems less common than C. longicaudata. C. longicaudata and L. saccharina are superficially similar, but there are several features that distinguish the two species, such as the much longer tail filaments in the former. Although previously unregistered in the Faroes, a citizen-science approach using social media showed that C. longicaudata is widespread and common. Both insects often live in households. Although generally harmless, they may cause damage on paper, tapestries, etc. While L. saccharina needs warm and humid conditions, C. longicaudata can stand drier conditions, and thus can be more of a problem in archives, museums and alike.