The atlas moth, a massive insect with a wingspan of about 10 inches, was found in the U.S. for the first time last month, Washington state officials say.

The atlas moth is considered among the largest moths in the world, along with species like the white witch moth, which can have a wingspan up to 14 inches, according to the California Academy of Sciences.

Sightings of the creature in the U.S. are extremely rare – and were thought to be nonexistent until recently.

On July 7, a University of Washington professor reported an atlas moth in Bellevue, according to the Washington State Department of Agriculture. The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Investigation Service confirmed it was an atlas moth on July 27. It’s believed to be the first confirmed detection ever reported in the U.S.

“This is a ‘gee-whiz’ type of insect because it is so large,” state agriculture department managing entomologist Sven Spichiger said in a news release. “Even if you aren’t on the lookout for insects, this is the type that people get their phones out and take a picture of – they are that striking.”

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The department and Washington state entomologists are asking the public to report sightings in hopes of determining whether more atlas moths are in the area.

“The moths do not pose a public health threat and thus can safely be photographed, handled, and collected,” the agriculture department wrote in a release Aug. 5.

But atlas moths are a federally quarantined pest, the department adds. Under USDA regulations, it’s illegal to obtain or sell the moths, for example, without a permit.