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О "Часах смерти" более научно

Е.А. Кухаренко

Точильщики "Часы смерти" фигурировали на нашем сайте как минимум два раза и оба - в художественных произведениях Марка Твена и С.С.Ижевского. Статья на эту тему в американской сетевой энциклопедии привлекла меня сведениями о целом созвездии знаменитостей, затрагивавших эту тему (Эдгар По, Джордж Оруэлл, Ян Флеминг, Рэй Брэдбери и др.).




The death watch beetle (Xestobium rufovillosum) is a woodboring beetle, namely a beetle whose larvae are xylophagous. The adult is approximately 7 mm long. The larva can be up to 11 mm long.

To attract mates, these woodborers create a tapping or ticking sound that can be heard in old building rafters during quiet summer nights. They are therefore associated with quiet, sleepless nights and are named for the vigil (watch) kept beside the dying or dead, and by extension the superstitious have seen the death watch as an omen of impending death.

The term "death watch" has been applied to a variety of other ticking insects including Anobium striatum, some of the so-called booklice of the family Anobiidae, and the appropriately named Atropos divinatoria and Clothilla pulsatoria.



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