Endoxyla lituratus (Donovan, 1805)
one of several species called informally
the Wattle Goat Moth
(also known as Eudoxyla liturata)
Don Herbison-Evans
Stella Crossley

Endoxyla lituratus
(Photo: courtesy of Jenny Holmes, Great Western, Victoria)

The female moth of this species lays her eggs in holes she bores into the trunks and branches of various

  • Wattles ( Acacia, MIMOSACEAE ).

    The Caterpillars bore through the wood making it a sort of honeycomb of tunnels.

    Pupation occurs in its borehole, and when the moth emerges from metamorphosis, it leaves the empty pupal case half sticking out from the mouth of its tunnel. The life cycle can take up to four years

    Endoxyla lituratus
    (Photo: courtesy of CSIRO/BIO Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics, University of Guelph)

    The adult moths have wings with a streaky speckled fawn pattern. The abdomen is banded in brown and grey.

    Endoxyla lituratus
    (Photo: courtesy of Peter Marriott, Omeo, Victoria)

    The moths are distinguished by a black band running around the thorax. The female moths have a wingspan of about 8 cms. The male moths have a wingspan of about 5 cms.

    Endoxyla lituratus
    mating pair, female on left
    (Photo: courtesy of JP95, Kambah, Australian Capital Territory)

    The species is found over all of Australia, including

  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales,
  • Australian Capital Territory,
  • Victoria,
  • Tasmania,
  • South Australia, and
  • Western Australia.

    Endoxyla lituratus
    (Picture: courtesy of Shell Australia)

    Further reading :

    Ian F.B. Common,
    Moths of Australia,
    Melbourne University Press, 1990, figs. 26.9, 51.14, pp. 270-271.

    Edward Donovan,
    General Illustration of Entomology,
    An Epitome of the Natural History of the Insects of New Holland, New Zealand, New Guinea, Otaheite and other Islands in the Indian, Southern and Pacific Oceans,
    London (1803), pp. 167-168, and also Plate on p. 166.

    S. Fearn,
    Life history and habits of the wood moth Xyleutes lituratus Don. (Lepidoptera, Cossidae) in Tasmania,
    Australian Entomological Magazine,
    Volume 12 (1985).

    Peter B. McQuillan, Jan A. Forrest, David Keane, & Roger Grund,
    Caterpillars, moths, and their plants of Southern Australia,
    Butterfly Conservation South Australia Inc., Adelaide (2019), pp. viii, 68.

    Australian Butterflies
    Australian Moths

    (updated 16 September 2013, 28 January 2014, 14 December 2017, 7 February 2019, 24 May 2021)