The Trouble with Jumping Worms: Status, Identification, Spread, Impacts, & Response

08/19/2021 01:00 PM - 02:00 PM CST

Category

Class

Admission

  • $10.00  -  Member
  • $15.00  -  Non-Member

Description

The Trouble with Jumping Worms & Their European Cousins in Minnesota: Status, Identification, Spread, Impacts, & Response

Instructor: James B. Calkins, PHD

 

Although jumping worms (Amynthas and Metaphire spp.) have been getting a lot of attention lately, many gardening enthusiasts and property owners have never heard of these invasive earthworms from Asia, let alone seen one.  And because earthworms are so commonplace and familiar to us, many people are also surprised to learn that no earthworms, including the ubiquitous nightcrawler, are native to the glaciated regions of North America, including Minnesota.  Join us on the University of Minnesota St. Paul Campus mall on August 19, 2021, for a discussion about non-native earthworms with a focus on jumping worms and the threat they pose to native ecosystems and designed landscapes.  Since they were first documented in Minnesota 15 years ago in Loring Park in downtown Minneapolis in 2006, jumping worms have subsequently been reported from 14 counties in the southeastern corner of the state and the University of Minnesota St. Paul Campus is one of the places where these invasive earthworms have unfortunately taken up residence.  In addition to learning the latest in the unfolding story of jumping worms and other non-native earthworms in Minnesota, this presentation will provide a hands-on opportunity to observe and learn to identify these invasive earthworms firsthand.  Also called crazy snake worms because of their distinctive movements when disturbed, these earthworms are believed to have an annual life cycle in Minnesota and late summer/early fall is the best time to look for them because they are full-grown and their populations should be at their annual peak in early September.  In addition, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is currently assessing the jumping worm threat and potential management options, including the possibility of regulating jumping worms as prohibited invasive species in Minnesota, and we may know if these non-native earthworms will be regulated as invasive species in Minnesota and have a better understanding of what the implications of such regulation will be by the time this presentation takes place.  

 

 

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