Asian crazy worms invade Madison - WBAY

Asian crazy worms invade Madison

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A foreign worm with a big appetite has burrowed into the soil of the UW Arboretum.

The Asian crazy worm was discovered last fall in the arboretum, and the species survived the harsh winter.

Officials say it's the first time the species has been seen in Wisconsin, although it's been in the East and Southeast U.S. for 50 years.

Scientists are nervous about how the worm could affect Wisconsin's forests.

Brad Herrick, arboretum ecologist and research program manager, tells the Wisconsin State Journal (http://bit.ly/W8K14Z ) the worms "basically consume the forest floor" - and they do it "quite quickly."

The 8-inch worms reach maturity in just two months and create offspring without mating.

The worm is called "crazy" because it flops and wriggles vigorously when handled.

Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, http://www.madison.com/wsj

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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