When the death watch beetle opens, if you are lucky enough to witness such a thing, it becomes a window into the Land of the Dead. This beetle is showing Charon (the ferryman) launching a ship across the dead sea [“Launch” happens to be this week’s Illustration Friday prompt].
WIPs and Such
I did this drawing a couple of years ago for my sketch blog, which is where the idea came from.
“To attract mates, these woodborers create a tapping or ticking sound that can be heard in the rafters of old buildings on 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.”
Also from Wikipedia:
“In Greek mythology, Charon or Kharon is the ferryman of Hades who carries souls of the newly deceased across the rivers Styx and Acheron that divided the world of the living from the world of the dead.”
I know you already knew that, but it seemed prudent to document it.