This is a large heavy moth with a wingspan of 68–96 mm. The wings are greyish brown and marked with fine dark cross lines. The moth flies from April to August depending on the location.
The caterpillars feed in the trunks and branches of a wide variety of trees (see list below), taking three or four years to mature.
Considered a Roman delicacy after it was fed with flour.
Lepidoptera (// lep-i-DOP-tər-ə) is a large order of insects that includes moths and butterflies (both called lepidopterans). It is one of the most widespread and widely recognizable insect orders in the world, encompassing moths and the three superfamilies of butterflies, skipper butterflies, and moth-butterflies. The term was coined by Linnaeus in 1735 and is derived from Ancient Greek λεπίδος (scale) and πτερόν (wing). Comprising an estimated 174,250 species, in 126 families and 46 superfamilies, the Lepidoptera show many variations of the basic body structure that have evolved to gain advantages in lifestyle and distribution. Recent estimates suggest that the order may have more species than earlier thought, and is among the four most speciose orders, along with the Hymenoptera, Diptera, and the Coleoptera.