Bird, bug, butterfly and a wild variety of photos from Belarus, Cyprus, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Scotland and Spain by Irish wildlife photographer Patrick J. O'Keeffe and invited guests

Tuesday 3 August 2021

GOAT MOTH (Cossus cossus) caterpillar on 12-08-2020, Girley Bog, Natural Heritage Area (NHA), Scurlockstown, Kells, Co. Meath, Ireland

Click external link here for detailed species information
The Goat Moth (Cossus cossus) is of the family Cossidae which is in the genus Cossus. This large species occurs in broad leaved woodland across North America and Eurasia. In mid summer when the lava (caterpillar) hatches it bores into a deciduous tree. Having spent up to five year feeding inside the trunk or branch, the fully grown 10cm long larva emerges from the tree during August. It then makes a cocoon among debris on the ground where the pupal stage takes place and remains there until June the following year when it becomes a moth. The flight season, during which the adults don't feed, peaks in June and July. There is a strong musky smell reminiscent of goat from the larva (caterpillar) hence the adults name.
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds
With thanks to the local lady and her two children who found the caterpillar and pointed it out to me.