Land Mollusks and Worms - invasive

Crazy Snake Worm (Amynthas agrestis) on Apr 3, 2021

Submitter does not have a specimen
EDRR Status: Local expert notified

Description of specimen

FYI: I typically rescue earthworms after heavy rain when they are in a dead end situation by putting them either back on soil or lawn. These particular worms caught my attention because they reacted in an extremely violent writhing nothing like typical earthworms that I usually encounter. Started researching online and quickly found asian jumping worms, etc., in Oregon.

Slender, brownish, smooth creamy colored band (sexual organs location?), violently thrashing when touched, actually coming off the ground as it writhed.

Commentary

Dear Estelle,

Thank you so much for reporting the Crazy Snake Worm. This information is extremely valuable as scientists and land managers monitor the spread and determine the best control and prevention strategy.

Worms are often thought as a welcome guest in our gardens, however, the Jumping Worm is an invasive species endemic to Korea and Japan that has led to changes in soil composition, nutrient cycling, and litter layer decomposition. They are spread through horticulture, fishing, composting, and hiking and pose a threat to understory species throughout the United states. The severity of their impacts in the PNW are unclear, but studies are underway.
Oregon Sea Grant extension specialist, Sam Chan recently partnered with Rebecca Sinichko, a master’s student at Portland State University and Linda Tucker Serniak, a doctoral candidate at Oregon State University to develop a guide to identifying this new invasive species in the PNW
See this link for more info: https://bit.ly/32ivOXv

Thanks so much again for reporting!

Sincerely,
Tania


Tania Siemens (she/her/hers)
Research Assistant
Don't Pack a Pest for Academic Travelers
Oregon Sea Grant
Oregon State University
cell: 541-914-0701 email: tania.siemens@oregonstate.edu
https://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/outreach-and-engagement/invasive-species/dont-pack-a-past-student-travelers

Tania Siemens
April 16, 2021, 4:03 p.m.