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Asian Jumping Worm

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Asian jumping worm
Asian Jumping Worms have a wide clitellum (band) around their bodies - Photo by National Park Service.
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)


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...

USDA. FS. Southern Research Station. CompassLive.

Imagine walking through a forest, with leaves crunching beneath your feet. Underneath those crunchy leaves is a complex ecological realm. “Soil is teeming with life,” says U.S. Forest Service research ecologist Mac Callaham. “Most people don’t think about it because they don’t see the soil fauna.” Soil fauna includes centipedes, millipedes, springtails, nematodes, insect larvae, and earthworms. “Springtails are very small arthropods,” says SRS ecologist Melanie Taylor. “Earthworms are the giants of soil fauna.” Taylor, Callaham, and lead author Meixiang Gao recently published a study on non-native earthworms and the food web. The study was published in the journal Soil Biology and Biochemistry.

Distribution / Maps / Survey Status

University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

Provides state, county, point and GIS data. Maps can be downloaded and shared.



Google. YouTube; Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source. Or, to display all related content view all resources for Asian Jumping Worm.

Council or Task Force

Cornell University. New York Invasive Species Research Institute.


Cornell University. New York Invasive Species Research Institute.

This guide was developed by the Jumping Worm Outreach, Research & Management (JWORM) working group to help homeowners identify and prevent the spread of jumping worms.

Western New York Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management.

St. Lawrence - Eastern Lake Ontario Partnership For Regional Invasive Species Management (New York).

Federal Government

DOI. NPS. Northeast Temperate Inventory & Monitoring Network.

See also: Science Stories for more resources

DOI. NPS. Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

State and Local Government

Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.

See also: Invasive Species for more resources

Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.


University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Illinois Extension.

North Carolina State University. Cooperative Extension.

Purdue University. Landscape Report.

Oregon State University. Oregon Sea Grant.

University of Massachusetts Extension. Landscape, Nursery, and Urban Forestry Program.

University of Minnesota. Extension.

University of Nebraska - Lincoln.

University of Nebraska - Lincoln.