grave beetles

jacdac

Senior Member
Lebanese
And then her face had broken apart, letting through a horde of grave beetles from the splitting yellow parchment fissures and he had screamed until blackness wavered and there was confused shouting, the slap of shoe-leather as people ran
Source: The Stand by Stephen King

Are grave beetles a type of beetles that one can find in graves?

Thank you.
 
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    And then her face had broken apart, letting through a horde of grave beetles from the splitting yellow parchment fissures and he had screamed until blackness wavered and there was confused shouting, the slap of shoe-leather as people ran
    Source: The Stand by Stephen King

    Are grave beetles a type of beetles that one can find in graves?

    Thank you.
    Why not? I am not an insect expert and I never heard of any such thing, but in the context of a report of a dream I would settle for that definition myself.
    A quick Google search on the term mainly threw up references to them in a PlayStation game. OR a beetle that feeds on carrion in the wild, rather than in human graves.
     

    exgerman

    Senior Member
    NYC
    English but my first language was German
    There are beetles ("grave beetles") that bury carrion (a dead mouse for example) and lay their eggs in it. The eggs eventually hatch and break out of the corpse.

    After reading the chapter, I think that SK is likening her to the corpse being eaten from the inside by one of these beetles. After all, his mother has in reality been dead for many years, in a grave, and undoubtedly beetles have fed on her from the inside.

    There is a silly children's rhyme about dead people: "The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out, the worms play pinochle on your snout". maybe that was in the back of SK's mind when he wrote the sentence.
     
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