Currently viewing the category: "Deathwatch Beetles"

Subject:  Black flying bug in large window
Geographic location of the bug:  UK
Date: 04/18/2018
Time: 01:56 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  For the first time I’ve been seeing these beetles (?) in a large window in our house. Half a dozen will be seen over the course of a day. The seem to crawl on it around the window, in our sitting room only. No food is present, no flour in the house.
The are approx 5mm long. The can fly but are slow to do so.
Have seen a few for the last couple of months, but now we are in Springtime the appear more frequently.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
How you want your letter signed:  DS

Deathwatch Beetle

Dear DS,
This looks to us like a Deathwatch Beetle in the genus
Ptilinus, and according to BugGuide:  “Larvae are wood-borers [our spp. in hardwood.”  UK sightings are documented on UK Beetle Recording and according to the Website of the Watford Coleoptera Group:  “A wood borer, colonies of which are usually found in dry exposed Faguswood but a wide variety of hosts have been recorded including Sambucus, Fraxinus, Acer, Quercus, Ulnus etc as well as plywood and ornamental timber ¹. Both standing and felled timber are attacked.”

What the heck IS that ?!?!
Location: ontario, canada
June 25, 2011 8:03 pm
Hi there !
I have a stumper for you (or maybe not?).
Found this little guy on the inside of my kitchen window. Never saw a bug like him. I didn’t size him, but i have a feeling the weird things on his head will give him away.
Thanks so much for checking out my pic !
Betty Doerksen,
Ontario, Canada
Signature: bettythecanadianmenno

Deathwatch Beetle

Dear bettythecanadianmenno,
We wish your photo had more detail.  We don’t believe this is a False Click Beetle, and we haven’t a clue what else it might be.  Here is a photo of a False Click Beetle from the What’s Bugging You? website that is somewhat similar.  We have requested assistance from Eric Eaton.

Eric Eaton identifies the Deathwatch Beetle
No, this is a great image of a deathwatch beetle, specifically Ptilinus ruficornis:
Only males have the weird antennae.
Not a structural pest as far as I am aware.

Thank you so much ! I appreciate it. As you know, he was very tiny (just a few mm), so it was hard to take a clear enough macro pic.
Thanks again for identifying him !

Help with Bug ID
Great site! I went through about 400 bugs and didn’t find one that matched what is in my house in upstate NY lately. I have a suspicion that they were in some logs I brought in for firewood and have not used. On the first warm day this Spring is when I first noticed these guys on the floor, walls, window casing, etc. Mostly confined to one location…near the fireplace. They are a bit over 1/8″ long. Half of them have the antennae similar to the picture, while the other half seem to have just two thin antennae. Other than that, they all look the same. They also all have tiny “graspers” on their hind ends. Color is black. I’m sure this is not something out of the ordinary, but I haven’t seen any similar pictures anywhere. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Todd,
We are going to seek Eric Eaton’s help with this identification. Eric quickly wrote back: ” Ha! Yes, those ARE distinctive antennae:-) It is a male anobiid (Anobiidae) in the genus Ptilinis. They are one of the Deathwatch Beetles. The larvae are wood borers in dead, solid wood.”