Goat Moth - Cossus cossus


Wingspan 68 to 96 mm. The Goat Moth gets its English name from the strong 'goat-like' odour of the caterpillar and is one of the heaviest British moths.

Identification difficulty
Recording advice

This is a rare species in our area and all records must have supporting image(s).


Well wooded areas.

When to see it

The adults fly in June and July.

Life History

The caterpillar burrows into the trunks of various deciduous trees, and feeds on the wood. Because of the long digestion period required for this food matter, the larvae often live for up to five years before pupating.

UK Status

It is locally widespread in the south though not common, and becomes scarcer further north in Britain.

VC55 Status

Rare in Leicestershire and Rutland. The 2019 record near Moira was the first in our area since the 1950s.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map