Death Bed Beetle Species in Tamaris | World Anvil

Death Bed Beetle

The Death Bed Beetle at first glance is quite harmless. Its back is shaped by a spade, it has six legs, two antenna, and it can fly. The immature beetles are little white grubs about a centimeter long while the adult is slightly less than three centimeters in length. Males and females are identical in physical appearance. The beetle has a motley brown coloration. It eats dead wood and naturally lives in forests, and wooden structures are extremely tempting food sources. The beetles lives throughout most of Tamaris except in the mountains and northern reaches of the continent. When they eat, they produce a large quantity of dust which coats the beetle's shell. To keep itself clean as it works, it rubs its shell case together to dislodge bits of dust.   In wood that has been infested by death bed beetles there are distinctive long channels filled with wood dust and frass. Female beetles will lay their eggs inside dead wood, and the grubs start eating wood as soon as they're born. Their heads are equipped with powerful jaws that make a distinctive clicking noise as they eat.   In a quiet house, it is possible to hear the grubs eating, and the rhythmic ticks remind many people of a clock. The passage of time is a reminder of human mortality, and many believe that those who hear the death bed beetle will soon die. In Astoria, there is the belief that death visits people carrying a clock. It ticks down the final hours and minutes of their life, and when the ticking stops, he is free to take the person's soul to the afterlife. Illustrations of death often include death bed beetles either around him or at his feet. The beetles are believed to be his messengers to the dying. In Verona, there is the belief that people who haven't been good during their lives will be visited by the souls of everyone they've wronged. They take the form of a beetle, and the incessant ticking is meant to torment the evil person so that they will never rest peacefully in the afterlife. In Retland, the shape of the beetle reminds people of a shovel used for grave digging and seeing a beetle is an omen that someone will die and have to be buried. If there are many beetles in one area, then that place either is or used to be a cemetery, and people will avoid damaging the land to keep the spirits at peace.

Cover image: by Alishahr


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