Beetle, Silk-tailed

Small fey, unaligned

Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 22 (4d6 + 8)
Speed 40 ft.

16 (+3) 17 (+3) 15 (+2) 5 (-3) 12 (+1) 16 (+3)

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 11
Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)
Proficiency Bonus +2


  • Keen Smell. The beetle has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell.


  • Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d4 + 3) piercing damage, and the target must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or take 3 (1d6) poison damage.
  • Dazzling Barbs. The silk-tailed beetle shakes its tail, reflecting the sunlight in a dazzling display of sparkles and color that affects the minds of creatures who see it. Each creature within 10 feet of the beetle that can see it must succeed on a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw or be blinded until the end of the beetle’s next turn.
  • Fling Barbs (Recharge 5-6). The beetle flings the barbs on its tail in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in that area must succeed on a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw or take 5 (2d4) piercing damage plus 3 (1d6) poison damage.


  • Quick Escape. The beetle attempts to escape a grapple.


Silk-tailed beetles are 3-foot-long insects that hail from the fey realm. They are named after their waxy, iridescent tails, which appear soft and silky but are in fact made up of millions of tiny, sharp, brittle barbs, each no wider than a strand of human hair. Each tail hair is coated in a dangerous venom that damages as well as bewilders foes.

The distinctive markings on a silk-tailed beetle’s shell further confound predators. To the uninitiated, the shell appears to be some kind of disturbing face, with the beetle’s tail resembling a spiky tongue. But creatures who try to attack the silk-tailed beetle from behind find themselves with a mouthful of sticky, bitter-tasting fibers instead of a tasty treat. While the would-be predator reels from the venom, the beetle makes a quick getaway.

In the realm of the fey, gremlins, brownies, and other miniature fey sometimes use silk-tailed beetles as mounts or beasts of burden. These beetles are surprisingly clever, making them easy to befriend or train for simple tasks but also prone to disobedience. While larger fey tend to keep silk-tailed beetles to milk their venom and farm their barbs, some train them as battle companions. When treated kindly and with respect, a silk-tailed beetle is a loyal ally who might even put its life on the line to protect its master.

In the wild, silk-tailed beetles use their saw-like front limbs to chop off small branches to make tiny hovels for shelter. During mating season, males create elaborate hovels, using their barbs to create glittering masterpieces on the ground. Before they sleep or mate, they implant a few of the barbs from their tails into the ground to ward off predators.

A silk-tailed beetle’s venom remains viable for a few days after its barbs are removed. Clever animals such as tool-wielding primates, crows, and many of the cunning beasts of the fey realm sometimes form symbiotic relationships with silk-tailed beetles, stealing the barbs the beetles use to protect their dens and nests for their own purposes.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Battlezoo Bestiary (5E) © 2022, Skyscraper Studios, Inc.; Authors: William Fischer, Stephen Glicker, Paul Hughes, Patrick Renie, Sen.H.H.S., and Mark Seifter.

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