Death Watch Beetle Xestobium rufovillosum (De Geer, 1774)
The presence of this beetle is usually indicated by the conspicuous 3-4mm exit holes in the dead wood of trees. The Death Watch Beetle, is a notorious pest of wood (including furniture) and is obviously widespread and common in the ancient Oaks of Sherwood Forest, but the actual beetle is not often encountered. In April 2015, we found two adults located within dead wood, but on a live Oak at Sherwood Forest CP. The Death Watch Beetle derives its name from the clicking sound the male makes (possibly to attract a female) but many years ago, when heard coming from within furniture, it was considered to be the clock ticking down to the time of a death.
Nottinghamshire (VC56) distribution of Xestobium rufovillosum
The records for the Nottinghamshire distribution map are currently provided by the following contributors - K N A Alexander (Invertebrate assemblage condition at Birklands and Bilhaugh SSSI and Birklands West and Ollerton Corner SSSI survey reports 2009-10). Natural England - Invertebrate Site Register 2006. M L Denton (2002 Sherwood Forest Coleoptera survey). Trevor and Dilys Pendleton. NBGRC. Natural England - Birklands and Bilhaugh SSSI & Birklands West and Ollerton Corner SSSI, Nottinghamshire Saproxylic invertebrate survey, Natural England Field Unit, April-October 2018.

You can contribute your own records to help us gain an accurate status of this species in Nottinghamshire. Send an Excel spreadsheet of your records via the 'contact us' link at the top of the homepage.

Updated January 2022

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