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Asian Jumping Worm

Scientific Name

Amynthas spp. (CABI)

Common Name

Asian jumping worm, Asian crazy worm, Alabama jumper

Native To

East-central Asia (Laushman et al. 2018)

Date of U.S. Introduction

Present in the U.S. since the late 1800s, but has been recently invading natural habitats in the Northeast and Midwest (Laushman et al. 2018; Schult et al. 2016)

Means of Introduction

Possibly through the horticultural trade or by anglers using them as bait (Snyder et al. 2011)


Affects forest habitats by altering soil properties, resulting in reduced food resources for native species (Schult et al. 2016)

Asian jumping worm
Image use policy

Asian Jumping Worms have a wide clitellum (band) around their bodies


Photo by National Park Service.

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  • Minnesota DNR Classifies 13 Invasive Plants, Animals as Prohibited

    • Feb 20, 2024
    • Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

    • The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has classified 13 high-risk invasive aquatic plants, fish and invertebrates as prohibited invasive species. The DNR classifies invasive species as prohibited to prevent their introduction and spread in Minnesota and to protect the state’s environment, economy, natural resources and outdoor recreation. It is unlawful to possess, import, purchase, transport or introduce prohibited invasive species, except under a DNR-issued permit for disposal, decontamination, control, research or education.

      The prohibition on 12 of the 13 species is effective immediately, with publication of the new listings in today’s State Register. Jumping worms will be prohibited invasive species effective July 1, 2024, to provide additional time for outreach to businesses and others who may be impacted by the rule change. A complete list is available on the DNR invasive species laws website.

  • Earthworms Can Jump: Invasive Jumping Worms are also Ecosystem Engineers

    • May 3, 2022
    • USDA. FS. Southern Research Station. CompassLive.

    • A worm is a worm is a worm, right? Except that there are more than 7,000 species of worms, and the longer you look, the more complex their world becomes. Earthworms compete. Earthworms invade. Earthworms… jump?

  • Invasive Jumping Worms Can Change Their World

    • Apr 22, 2022
    • USDA. Forest Service.

    • The invasive Asian jumping worm (Amynthas agrestis) has many common names: Alabama jumpers, Jersey wrigglers, wood eel, crazy worms, snake worms, and crazy snake worms. “Invasive Asian jumping worms got their name because of the way they thrash around,” said Mac Callaham, a Forest Service researcher who specializes in soils. “They can flip themselves a foot off the ground.”

      Like other earthworms, Asian jumping worms eat tiny pieces of fallen leaves. But there’s a problem. Those fallen leaves make up the top layer of forest soil. The litter layer, as it’s called, is home to a vast number of tiny animals. Many plants can’t grow or spread without the layer of leaf litter. “Soil is the foundation of life – and Asian jumping worms change it,” says Callaham. “In fact, earthworms can have such huge impacts that they’re able to actually reengineer the ecosystems around them.”

  • Invasive Jumping Worms Damage U.S. Soil and Threaten Forests

    • Sep 29, 2020
    • University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum.

    • What could be more 2020 than an ongoing invasion of jumping worms? These earthworms are wriggling their way across the United States, voraciously devouring protective forest leaf litter and leaving behind bare, denuded soil. They displace other earthworms, centipedes, salamanders and ground-nesting birds, and disrupt forest food chains. They can invade more than five hectares in a single year, changing soil chemistry and microbial communities as they go, new research shows. And they don’t even need mates to reproduce...

Distribution / Maps / Survey Status


Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source.

Council or Task Force
Federal Government
State and Local Government