Jumping Worms, voracious earthworms with unrivaled gyrating abilities with the potential to forever alter our forest and soils.
Species names: Jumping Worm, Crazy Worm, Asian Jumping Worm, Alabama Jumper, or Georgia Jumper (Amynthas agrestis)
Description: Most distinguished by its erratic jumping behavior especially when disturbed, the worm is either glossy dark brown or gray with a distinct light-colored band (clitellum) at the head end. It dwells either on top of the soil or in the litter layer and does not produce a slime when handled. The worm also produces a distinct, granular "dirt"
Similar species: European Nightcrawler (Lumbricus terrestris), however nightcrawlers are found within the soil and produce a slime when handled.
Origin: Southeast Asia
How the worms were introduced: Likely from cocoons in potted plants or other soil. The worm can reproduce asexually.
Known Infested Range: Jumping Worms were confirmed in Madison, Wisconsin in 2013 and have since been found other southern Wisconsin counties. Cocoons are very cold resistant.
Why Jumping Worms are a problem: Jumping Worms can consume leaf litter at aggressive rates, releasing nutrients faster than they can be absorbed by plants and altering seed bed conditions so that native plants may no longer become established.
How the worms are spread: Both worms and cocoons can be introduced through potted plants, soil, or compost. Because the worm's infamous thrashing, it has been sold as bait and may also be included with nightcrawlers.
What you can do to help prevent the spread: Inspect all potted plants and compost for Jumping Worms. If you spot an unusual worm, report it!
REPORT IT: Use the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network Reporting tool online
or download their reporting app