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One of the world's largest moths, first discovered in the United States

  , one of the world's largest moths, was first spotted in Washington, USA, prompting authorities to report sightings. of insects.

According to the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA), Atlas moth was first reported to entomologists in states on July 7 by a professor at the University of Washington. Moths are usually found in tropical climates and are not native to the United States.

"It's a 'Gee-wiz' type insect because it's so large," said Sven Spichiger, WSDA's managing entomologist. says. "Even if you don't care about insects, this is the type of thing where people take out their phones and take pictures. They are so impressive."

Considered a federal quarantine pest. But the Atlas moth poses no public health threat and can be safely photographed, handled and collected, officials said. According to the US Department of Agriculture, this Atlas moth is one of the largest known moths in the world.

A single moth found in Washington State is believed to be the first confirmed discovery of its species in the country. The WSDA said there was no evidence of Atlas moth populations becoming established in the state, and no sightings elsewhere in the United States were reported.

Washington State Department of Agriculture
Atlas moth, hand
Washington State Department of Agriculture

Official Residents who believe they have found Atlasga should send a photo to and include where it was found said there was a need.

"[U.S. Department of Agriculture] is gathering available scientific and technical information about this moth and will provide recommendations for response, but in the meantime this is a one-time We hope residents can help us find out if they were fugitives or if there could actually be a population in the area," Spikiger said.

 As a federal quarantine pest, obtaining, storing, raising, or selling live Atlas moths, whether adults, eggs, larvae, or pupae, without permission from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. it is illegal to