Home / Cossid Millers Moths (Cossidae) / Goat Moth (Cossus cossus)

Goat Moth (Cossus cossus)

The goat moth is a member of the family of Cossidae moths. Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus first described this species in 1758.

Goat Moth


Scientific Classification

  • Family: Cossidae
  • Genus: Cossus
  • Scientific Name: Cossus cossus

Description and Identification


Caterpillars have reddish-purple stripes across their backs and black heads, reaching a length of 9–10 cm.

Goat Moth Caterpillar


Goat Moth Larvae



After maturing, the larvae leave the tree to locate a suitable place for pupation.

Goat Moth Pupa


Adult Moth

Sexual Dimorphism: Present but not prominent.

Color and Appearance

When the wings are opened, they are a grayish-brown color, marked with fine dark cross lines. When the wings are closed, the patterns remain observable.

Average wingspan: 6.8–9.6 cm

Flight pattern: Erratic

Season: April to August

Cossus cossus



The eggs of these moths are laid close to the host plants.

Quick Facts

DistributionNorthern Africa, Asia, and Europe
HabitatHumid areas such as fens, hedgerows, marshes, parkland, riverbanks, and woodland edges
Lifespan of AdultsNot recorded
Host PlantsGrapevines, oak, and poplar
Adult DietDoes not feed

Did You Know

  • There are several sub-species of these moths, including Cossus cossus cossus, Cossus cossus dauricus, and Cossus cossus lucifer.
Goat Moth Image


Goat Moth Picture


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