in Fascinating Insects2 years ago (edited)

Cossus cossus it's a pretty large moth that I rarely see.

DSC03877 malo.jpg

It was a hot summer day, around noon, in 2016 ...

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... when these shots, and the following video were taken.

▶️ Watch on 3Speak

Cossus cossus, a relatively large moth with mimetic pattern on the wings that make him look like a chunk of the bark fallen from the surrounding trees, is resting on my hand :) in this extremely short video ... which will became a part of the slightly longer post on HIVE, a post that will include more text and some photographs making the thing look more meaningful.

▶️ 3Speak

DSC03832 malo.jpg

The larvae of this species feeds and lives inside the wood of a wide variety of living broad - leaf trees. It takes up to five ... usually 3 - 4 years of wood chewing for the larva to grow up and pupate. Due to the hard to digest nature of the wood and poor nutrient value, the caterpillars need to feed for a long time.

DSC03847 malo.jpg

As the larva feeds burrowed in the wood, the sap trickles and attracts various other insects. The sap of the tree is a precious nutrient for many species. The adult female lays the eggs in the crevices in the bark of the trees ... and, as you can see on this photograph, the adults have a great camouflage on the bark.

DSC03844 malo.jpg

An interesting fact that I found out while preparing the post - these moths don't feed at all as adults.
Another interesting fact, new to me - In captivity, the caterpillars will eat fruits, vegetables and bread too, speeding the growth, reducing those 3 - 4 years of chewing to just 6 – 10 months.

DSC03856 malo.jpg

Because its life cycle linked to the trees, it's no wonder that this species has a great potential to be considered a pest ... but is getting too rare for that ... it comes a time, when the human presence is so overwhelming, that even pests have to be protected.

As always in these posts on HIVE, the photographs and the video are my work.


What a wonderful moth. You are writing a longer blog so I won't say anymore about it--don't want to steal your thunder. But I have been reading a bit about this little creature (since I saw it here) and am fascinated. I will look for your blog :)

:D I always have time to read a few educational comments ... so ...

Oh no...after your blog. I think I may be well acquainted with this wonderful moth by then. Thank you for the introduction.

But ... I'm writing a long blog about mushrooms for the Fungi Friday ... for the moth - that's it. :) Maybe the text under the video, that I wrote because in 3SPEAK only that short fragment is visible not the entire post, makes it look like there will be another post. :D I said all I had to say about that species, and those are all the photographs I have ... it's your turn ...

Sorry it took me time to come back. I had read that the larvae your moth, Cossus cossus, used to be considered a delicacy by the Romans. The article I read said the Romans would feed the larvae flour. This made the larvae grow faster--also taste better. However, other sources I read claim it wasn't Cossus cossus that was consumed, but the larvae of Cerambyx cerdo, the great Capricorn beetle;
Cerambyx_cerdo_side  Siga 1.2.JPG
(Photo by Siga, CC 1.0 license)

I think your moth is much prettier. As for eating either one...well, I'd have to be very hungry :))

Maybe were both on the menu :) all those larvae look like a great meal :D

I thought you'd say that:))

(Larva singular, larvae plural. I get them mixed up. Will fix that for posterity.)


This moth with its massive physique is already something special. But also the caterpillar is hardly to confuse. Your pictures are as always a feast for the eyes.

Have a nice weekend 😀

@tipu curate 2

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Very handsome moth with lots of character!