Death watch beetle

In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, the death watch beetle is a type of giant insect.

Death watch beetle
Type Vermin
Publication history
Source books Monster Manual II
First appearance 1983


A death watch beetle is monstrous insect which disguises itself by wearing the carapaces of other giant beetles, or by sticking rubbish to itself. A death watch beetle can make a clicking sound with its carapace that produces a deadly sonic vibration, resembling a drum or gong that seems to come from everywhere.

Publication historyEdit

The death watch beetle has appeared in the following publications:

  • It first appeared under the "beetle" heading in the first edition Monster Manual II (1983).[1]
  • The second edition for the Greyhawk setting under the "beetle" heading in the Monstrous Compendium Greyhawk Appendix (1990),[2]
  • Reprinted in Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Three (1996).[3]
  • The Tome of Horrors (2002) from Necromancer Games.[4]


  1. Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual II (TSR, 1983)
  2. Breault, Mike, ed, et al. Greyhawk Monstrous Compendium Appendix (TSR, 1990)
  3. Pickens, Jon, ed. Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Three (TSR, 1996)
  4. Green, Scott; Peterson, Clark (2002). Tome of Horrors. Necromancer Games. pp. 19-20. ISBN 1-58846-112-2.