О "Часах смерти" более научно
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.
In popular culture
- In 1787,
antiquarian Francis Grose included
the death watch beetle in his three-page inventory of contemporary omens
of death .
death watch beetle appears in a nativity song
in which the innkeeper complains repeatedly that "there's death watch
beetle in the roof."
- In the
story "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe, the death watch beetle is mentioned simply as
"deathwatches" The narrator hears it tapping in the walls while
he watches his victim in his bedchamber.
- In Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer the
beetle is heard while Tom is waiting in bed for Huck Finn to show up for a
night at the graveyard.
- In the
George Orwell novel A Clergyman's Daughter the death watch beetle is mentioned as the reason for the
church's sagging roof: "...beside the Church Expenses box two
fragments of riddled beam explained mutely that this was due to that
mortal foe of Christendom, the death-watch beetle."
death watch beetle is spoken of in the History channel documentary
series Life After People. One hundred years after people no longer exist, the Mona Lisa is
eaten by these beetles because it is painted on wood and a small hole from
dust created an opportunity for moisture, forming an ideal habitat for the
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free
encyclopedia. The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.