Asian jumping worms invade 15 states

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They look like normal earthworms, but can writhe, jump and even shed their tails to escape danger.

Some call them crazy worms. Pick one up, and you’ll see why, as the creepy-crawly jerks, writhes and springs out of your hand. (It may even leave its tail behind, as a grim souvenir.) And now, scientists are finding the wrigglers have spread to at least 15 states across the U.S.

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The worms of the genus Amynthas — also known as snake worms, Asian jumping worms and Alabama jumpers, according to Smithsonian Magazine — are a highly invasive lot that first made their way to North America in the 19th century, stowed away on ships carrying plants and dirt. Since then, they’ve spread, well, like crazy, and have now been sighted in more than a dozen states, including Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio, Texas, Louisiana, Indiana, Kansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and Oklahoma, reported.

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