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Invasive Asian crazy worm found at UW-Madison arboretum

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - For the first time in Wisconsin, the invasive Asian crazy worm has made itself at home -- and it picked a beautiful target at the UW-Madison arboretum.

Officials said the eight-inch worm known as "Amynthas Agrestis" survived the rough winter.

The arboretum's Brad Herrick tells the Wisconsin State Journal that the worms devour nutrient-rich soil at the forest floor. Erosion occurs, and native plants have a harder time surviving.

Invasive plants often grow in their place.

UW employees found the worm last October while showing night crawlers to visitors.

The Asian worm is called "crazy" because it wriggles heavily when it's handled. Until now, the pest had been spotted in the Eastern and Southeast U.S. for about the last half-century.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)