Did you know about the existence of "mad worms"? These worms, belonging to the genus Amynthas, are currently much talked about in the United States. Researchers are particularly concerned that this species is starting to invade the country. According to the site Live Science , these crazy worms are present in no less than 15 American states.
This species inherited this name due to its strange behavior. These worms, also known as jumping worms, leap up when disturbed. They twist all over the place and even have the ability to unravel their tails to get out of a dangerous situation.
These worms were introduced in North America during the 19th century. They traveled from Asia in boats that carried plants, among other things. Since then, this species has multiplied in a worrying way. American researchers fear that it will have a negative impact on the environment.
A bad reputation
Since their introduction in the United States, these crazy worms have taken their ease. They are now found in ten American states. These include Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio, Texas, Louisiana, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Oklahoma.
At first glance, they look like classic earthworms. Mad worms are just a little smaller and browner. This species also enjoys a worse reputation. Among other things, it is known to reproduce at high speed and to feed on all the organic matter in the soil. And this is precisely what worries researchers.
Worms that harm the development of flora
Experts consider mad worms to be a pest species. According to them, these animals draw on 95% of the organic matter found in the soil for food. As Brad Herrick, an environmentalist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, points out, that leaves very little food for the plants.
“We noticed one thing… These earthworms not only change the structure of the soil and the dynamics of nutrients in the soil, but they also displace the other species of earthworms that are already there,” he said. .
For now, researchers do not know how these worms go about spreading across the country. They are currently investigating the long-term impacts of this species on the forests of North America.