Definition of deathwatch beetle in English:

deathwatch beetle

Line breaks: death¦watch bee¦tle


  • A small beetle whose larvae bore into dead wood and structural timbers, causing considerable damage. The adult makes a tapping sound like a watch ticking, formerly believed to portend death.
    • Xestobium rufovillosum, family Anobiidae
    More example sentences
    • Male death-watch beetles bang their heads against the sides of their wooden tunnels to attract females.
    • Indeed, the behaviour of death-watch beetle actually makes it more susceptible to surface treatments than common furniture beetle.
    • Anobiids are similar to lyctids in color and size, but are cylindrical; the common furniture and death-watch beetles belong in this group.

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