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Silverfish (Lepisma saccharinum) are small, primitive insects which feed on starches and other carbohydrates in paper and some book cloth. They favor uncoated paper, often sparing printed areas, and consume material in a characteristic laced pattern. A nocturnal species, they avoid light, and prefer a humid environment. Books stored in basements & attics are common targets.

The first image shows a dust jacket with parts entirely consumed by silverfish, avoiding the inked text. The book cloth shows consumption of the surface. The second and third images show characteristic trails of surface consumption. The fourth image shows the surface consumption of book cloth.

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