One of only three species of this family that are found in the British Isles. The adults fly during at night but can sometimes be seen resting during the day on tree trunks. The adults are incapable of feeding. The caterpillars can be found from August to the following May. They overwinter two or three times as larvae in the stems and branches of trees.

Size and Family

  • Family – Leopard and Goat moths (Cossidae)
  • Medium Sized
  • Wingspan Range – 44-70mm

Conservation status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Common

Caterpillar Food Plants

Many woody plants including willows, Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), Plum (Prunus domestica), Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), Apple (Malus domestica), Pear (Pyrus communis), privets, Ash (Fraxinus excelsior), elms, oaks, Beech (Fagus sylvatica) and others.


Most frequent in open woodland and scrub but also found in gardens and parkland.


  • Countries – England and Wales
  • Widely distributed throughout the south of England north to Yorkshire and in the eastern half of Wales. Also found in the Channel Islands.
Leopard Moth

Leopard Moth

Leopard Moth

Leopard Moth