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Jumping worms, known called Asian jumping worms, crazy worms, Alabama jumpers and snake worms, scientific name Amynthas agrestis (and another common version, Amynthas tokioensis) , are invasive earthworms first found in the northern midwest of the U.S. in by Dr. Lee Frelich University of Minnesota first observed Amynthas agrestis in Loring Park in Minneapolis in 2006; other sightings in 2013 in Wisconsin. . As the name implies, Native to eastern Asia, they harm the soil ecology since they do not aerate the soil as European Earthworms do.
In a nutshell, they
Asian jumping worms are not native to the United States or Europe and feed on leaf litter and mulch. The soil they leave behind is dry and grainy like coffee grounds, which deprives trees and other plants of essential nutrients. They can deplete soil of nutrients, damage plant roots and alter the soil's water holding capacity. Asian jumping worms do not create channels in the soil for plants nor do they recycle nutrients into the soil for plants to use. They can cause invertebrates in the soil to die which can impact wildlife species that feed on them. They can also change the carbon nitrogen ratio in soils which can impact the effectiveness of pesticides in agricultural fields that have been invaded by these worms.
There are several key points to know to distinguish the Asian Jumping Worm from the common helpful earthworm. This youtube video is excellent.
The state of Wisconsin produced this comparison and timeline:
|Jumping worm||European nightcrawler|
|Bodies are sleek, dry, smooth and firm||Bodies are thick, slimy, floppy|
|Thrash violently when disturbed; snake-like movement||Wiggle and stretch when disturbed.|
|Mature worm 4-5 inches long (10 cm to 13 cm)||Mature worm 6-8 inches long (15 cm to 20 cm)|
|Light colored, smooth clitellum* that is flush with body, relatively close to head. Completely encircles body.||Reddish or pink clitellum* slightly raised from rest of body. Partially encircles body (like a saddle).|
|Time of year||Activity|
|April -May||Tiny jumping worms hatch from cocoon-encased eggs.|
|Summer months||Worms feed and grow. It takes 60 days between hatching and reproduction|
|August - September||Mature worms reproduce, depositing egg-filled cocoons into surroundings. Jumping worms are parthenogenic; each worm can reproduce on its own without a mate.|
|First freeze||Adult worms die.|
|Winter months||Eggs spend cold months protected in cocoons (about the size of mustard seeds!)|
At present, there are no known ways to effectively eradicate the worms. The recommendations are limited to prevention,
No effective methods are known at present that provide results,
You can remove and dispose of AJW by
See below to report any invasive species in your country.
A: If you find invasive species on your property, it is up to you to decide what to do. You can leave them alone, or you might want to try and eradicate or control them. This may or may not be possible depending on the extent of the problem and whether your neighbors all around you have the species on their land as well. If you have a significant amount of property infested with invasives and would like to find out whether invasive species can be eradicated or habitats on your property can be restored, all of the sources in the question above may be of help. In addition, there are many Service programs and other government programs that could be of assistance. To find out more about these programs, please visit the Grants page of the Invasive Species Web Portal's Partnerships Page.
A: If you are in a National or State Park, National Wildlife Refuge, or other piece of public land and you think you may have discovered a new invasive species, you should contact the closest park or refuge office and see if they are aware of the invasive species.
If you think you have found an aquatic invasive species, you should try and alert the local office as mentioned above, but there are two other ways you can report the discovery.
Also to get a list of the species that are considered invasive in your area, contact your State Department of Natural Resources.
GB Invasive Non-native Species Strategy was developed to meet the challenge posed by invasive non-native species in Great Britain. This website provides tools and information for those working to support the strategy. Where to send your records You can record any non-native species online through iRecord (external link). Please include a photograph of your sighting if you have one to help with identification.
Record a sighting of a non-native species
Report a priority non-native species
'Prevention priority species' are non-native species that aren't yet established in Scotland, but are known to be highly invasive and are likely to arrive here soon. View the latest NNSS website species alerts.
By law, you must report a sighting on your land of:
You should report either type of sighting above promptly to Scotland's Environmental and Rural Services (SEARS).
Telephone: 0845 2 302 050
Email: [email protected]
Report other non-native species
Records of other non-native species can help us to better understand species distribution and thus support better management.
In particular, be sure to report sightings of non-native species of concern in Scotland.
You can submit your records of species of concern:
An expert will verify your sighting. Including a good quality photo or description will speed up this process. You may be asked for more details about the sighting.
All records will be made publicly available via NBN Atlas Scotland.
In the UK, If you suspect you have seen an Asian hornet you should report this using the iPhone and Android app 'Asian Hornet Watch' or by using our online report form. Alternatively, e-mail [email protected].
Photo: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
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