Jumping or crazy snake worms (Amynthas spp. and others) are non-native, invasive earthworms from southeastern Asia, specifically Japan and the Korean peninsula, that have unfortunately found their way to North America. Present in the southern Appalachian region of the United States for many years, these invaders have more recently been found in several northeastern states and most recently in the Upper Midwest in Minnesota and Wisconsin and in the Pacific Northwest in Oregon. In Minnesota they have been found in several locations in Minneapolis and on the University of Minnesota, St. Paul campus, but little is otherwise known about their distribution in the state. Sometimes described as “ecosystem engineers” in response to their dramatic effects on soil structure and chemistry, these worms are surface-dwellers that aggressively feed on leaf litter and organic matter near the soil surface and research indicates they can be very destructive and pose a serious threat to native ecosystems and designed landscapes in non-native habitats like Minnesota. Sadly, the green industry – through the movement of landscape plants, mulch, and compost – is believed to be primary vector involved in the spread of these harmful worms and their introduction to new areas. As a result, the possibility of regulating jumping worms in Minnesota is being investigated and it is important that nursery and landscape professionals be aware of these destructive worms and take steps to prevent their spread and introduction to new areas.
Through this webinar, Jim Calkins, Research Information Director (MNLA Foundation) and Regulatory Affairs Manager (MNLA) will provide an update on the status of jumping worms in Minnesota and their potential impact on the Minnesota nursery and landscape industry and its customers.
Join us for an hour-long webinar to learn more about jumping worms – their life cycle and identifying characteristics, how they are spread to new areas, the implications of potential regulation, how to report suspected jumping worm infestations, and what can be done to prevent the spread of these destructive pests.