Oпe Of the Biggest Mοths οп Earth Seeп Iп US Fοr First Time, Baffliпg Scieпtists

The huge th is typically found in Asia’s forested regions rather than Washington.


One of the world’s largest kinds of mammals, the Atlas mammal (Attacus atlas), is not expected to be found in America. Picture source: maghdp

For the first time ever, an Atlas mth sighting has been officially reported in the United States. According to IFL Science, the enormous moth species is generally found in the tropical forests of Asia and has a wingspan of 25 centimeters (10 inches). As a result, scientists are baffled as to how this specimen wound up in Washington, D.C.

The month was presented to the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) on July 7 by Patrick C. Tbin, an associate professor of ecology at the University of Washington. The animal and plant health investigative service at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) received the sample after which it confirmed that it was an atlas mite twenty days later.

“Holding a live adult mth in my palm and seeing it was really incredible. Via my university, I teach a tropical ecology course, so I am accustomed to seeing some fairly fantastic bug species in tropical forests. But witnessing this live phenomenon, which is regarded as the biggest in the world, was unique, Tbin told IFLScience.


The Atlas butterfly, one of the largest lepidopterans, has a wingspan of up to 24 cm (9.4 in) and a wing surface area of about 160 cm2 (25 in2). It is only outclassed in terms of wingspan by the white witch (Thysania agrippina) and Attacus caesar, and in terms of wing surface area by the Hercules butterfly (Cscincera hercules).

Both of the Atlas butterfly’s feathers have a prominent extension at the tip with markings that resemble a snake’s head. When the thing is threatened by potential predators, the wings’ movements accentuate this likeness.

The species is a nationally quarantined pest in the US, making it illegal to purchase, harbor, rear, or sell live animals without a USDA permit. The Atlas thrush may one day become an invasive species, posing a harm to US agriculture, the environment, and native species.

Its presence in the US is even more perplexing given the severe restrictions.

“A person from the Bellevue neighborhood of Seattle, where the adult moth was discovered, was selling live conspecifics of the Atlas moth that were sourced from Thailand on eBay. This is unquestionably the most legal explanation for locating the adult month, continued Tbin.


If you live in Washington, D.C., and you believe you may have misplaced an Atlas measurement, take a photo and send it to [email protected] with the precise location. You should report the sighting to the state’s plant regulatory official or state plant health director if it occurs elsewhere in the US.

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