From the Greek word xulon, wood and phagos, to eat, a xylophagous animal is one that feeds on wood.
Xylophagous organisms, whether bacteria, fungi or insects, feed on the cellulose or lignin of living or dead wood. They are therefore decomposers.
As such, they play an important ecological role in forests, by recycling organic matter and providing food for many amphibians, reptiles, birds, etc.
The nocturnal caterpillar of theCossus cossus, or goat moth, is xylophagous. © Jac 31 CC by-nc-nd 2.0