Hadrobregmus notatus

Death-Watch Beetle

Hadrobregmus notatus photo, Death-Watch Beetle

Family: Anobiidae

Subfamilies: Anobiinae

Length: 5 mm


The common name for this beetle family is Death Watch Beetle. Some members bore in hardwood trees, lumber, or even furniture. Other species are pests of stored products such as tobacco, cereal products, and even spices including Cayenne. One interesting trait of most Death-Watch Beetles is that the last three segments of the antennae are much longer than the preceding segments, and are expanded to one side.

The name Death-Watch Beetle derives from the practice of these beetles while seeking mates, of making a clicking noise, apparently in groups of seven or eleven clicks. The unwary who heard these noises coming from the woodwork believed them to be an omen of death.

Beetles in this genus, Hadrobregmus, are sometimes called Dry-rot Beetles or Dampwood Borers. The one shown here was resting in a bathroom sink.

This species has been reported from Ontario, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Missouri, Virginia, North Carolina, and (on the basis of the Uphsur County photo on this page) West Virginia. The photo here was taken on 23 May 2005.

A synonym for Hadrobregmus notatus is Coelostethus notatus.

Note: This page is both the Hadrobregmus notatus page, and the family page for Anobiidae.

Insects of West Virginia