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Jumping worm (Amynthas agrestis)

Jumping worm Common Names: Snake worm, Alabama jumper, crazy snake worm

Description: Little is known about Amynthas earthworms. They are believed to be native to Southeast Asia and entered the Great Lakes Region through nursery stock. They thrive in garden shops where flower pots are displayed over soil and travel in and out of pots' drain holes in search of food.

Identification: Appears almost grey in color, can be 1.5 to 8 inches long, clitellum is milky white and smooth, unlike other species in which it is raised. Will act crazy, jumping and thrashing and may shed their tails when handled.

Habitat: Native to Southeastern Asia. Typically surface-dwelling consumers of leaf litter. Highly adaptive to temperature changes and non particular to habitat types. Crazy worms will produce a unique soil signature.

Reproduction: Parthenogenic: asexual reproduction. Reaches maturity in 60 days which allows for 2 hatches a season. Cocoons over winter and are very cold resistant.

Impact and Damage: They have voracious appetites, in which they consume beds of leaf litter which might have taken decades to guild up. Leaf litter is an important resource to many native plants and animals, and its removal and loss will have long-term, harmful effects on forests. Can be spread via mulch, compost, nursery stock, transplanting and bait.

Monitoring and rapid response: Mixing mustard powder and water creates a chemical reaction and is poured over the infested area. This causes all soil invertebrates to come to the surface.

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from The Stewardship Network Aug 2014 Webcast and Wisconsin DNR Forest Health Alert.

Individual species images that appear with a number in a black box are courtesy of the network ( photo author credits may not be included due to the small display size of the images and subsequent difficulty of reading the provided text. All other images appear courtesy of Google (

Common Name:

Jumping worm

Scientific Name:

Amynthas agrestis