World’s largest moth spotted for the first time in the US: The insect is larger than an adult man’s HAND

World’s largest moth spotted for the first time in the US: The insect is larger than an adult man’s HAND

The world’s largest moth has been spotted for the first time in the US: the insect, which is larger than an adult man’s HAND, has been found on a garage door in Washington

  • The atlas moth is native to the tropics, but a sighting has been reported in Washington state that may be the first to visit the US
  • Its wingspan measures 10 inches, making it the largest moth in the world
  • The Atlas moth is considered invasive and can destroy native vegetation

The world’s largest moth has been spotted in Washington state, which is about 2,000 miles from its natural tropical habitat.

Its wingspan measures 10 inches, the previous record holder measured 9.8 inches and was found hanging from a garage door in Bellevue on the east shore of Lake Washington.

The insect known as the Atlas moth is a federally quarantined pest, making it illegal to buy or sell the moths in any form, from eggs to adults, without a permit.

The Washington homeowner reported this to the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA), which is urging residents to keep an eye out to see if there are others in the area.

The Atlas moth can harm native US vegetation because, like other moths, it only consumes leaves of host plants and not flowers, woody stems, and roots.

The world’s largest moth has been spotted hanging from a garage door in Washington state. Known as the Atlas moth, its natural habitat is the tropics

Residents are encouraged to photograph, collect, and report atlas moths when seen. The moths do not pose a public health hazard and are therefore safe to photograph, handle and collect.

Sven Spichiger, WSDA’s chief entomologist, said in a statement: “This is a ‘gee whiz’ insect species because it is so large.

“Even if you’re not looking for bugs, these are the kind that people pull out their phones and take a picture of – they’re so eye-catching.”

The moth was originally reported to the WSDA on July 7, and entomologists identified it as an Atlas moth and sent pictures of the insect to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, which confirmed the specimen as an Atlas moth on July 27. It is believed to be that this is the first confirmed record of the moth in the United States.

Not only is this the first Atlas moth reported in the United States, but its 10-inch wingspan makes it the world's largest moth

Not only is this the first Atlas moth reported in the United States, but its 10-inch wingspan makes it the world’s largest moth

“This is usually a tropical moth. We’re not sure if it could survive here,” Spichiger said.

“The USDA is gathering available scientific and technical information on this moth and will provide recommendations on how to respond, but in the meantime we hope local residents will help us determine if this was a one-time outlier or if there is indeed a population in the area.” are. ‘

It is believed that the moths got their name because the patterns on their wings resemble maps.

Another theory has it that the moth was named after Titan Atlas, who was condemned by the Greek god Zeus to hold the sky on his shoulders.

This is related to its large wingspan and the idea that they are a burden to insects.

Center is an atlas moth with a wingspan of just seven inches, but it's much larger than those found in the United States

Center is an atlas moth with a wingspan of just seven inches, but it’s much larger than those found in the United States

Female Atlas moths are much larger than males and attract mates by secreting irresistible pheromones through the end of their abdomen.

The males sniff them out with long, feathered feelers.

The moths lay their eggs under leaves. Bluish-green caterpillars covered in a white powder then hatch a week or two later and begin feeding.

Her favorite dishes include Jamaican cherry, lime and citrus. The creepy crawlies then wrap themselves in a silk cocoon. The pupal stage lasts about a month.

Adult males have no mouth and subsist on fat stores built up during the caterpillar stage.

They mate quickly and die shortly thereafter.