All across the Internet one will find that Alabama Jumpers live only as far north as Chattanooga Tennessee. I even originally believed this to be true since Alabama Jumpers originated from the tropical regions of some Asian countries.
As some of you already know, most web sites also state that one cannot raise Alabama Jumpers in a controlled environment and have them reproduce. Well it has been over a year now that I have been raising Alabama Jumpers prolifically as well as studying them. These are probably the most fascinating earthworm I have come across to date. Their ability to adapt to different conditions is astonishing!
First to better understand the Alabama Jumpers, one must realize the originated in the tropics where they survive through long periods of drought followed by torrential rainy seasons.
What most are already aware of is that they survived moderate winters in the southern half within the continental USA.
However, only recently I have found they survive much harsher winters and been able to verify this. In fact what makes this even more amazing is the fact that most of the country had record low temperatures this past winter and yet we have located the Alabama Jumper worms as far north as New England this summer!
The areas thus far are in upstate New York as well as in Massachusetts.
What makes the ability to adapt from one extreme to another is not yet known or over how many generations however I have not seen nor heard of any other worm being able to adapt to such muggy, humid, high temperatures to the frigid cold weather.
I do know from a past experiment last winter that the Alabama Jumpers will begin to slow down as their metabolism begins to slow at temperatures in the low to mid fifties.
I am working on another experiment, one which I hope to be able to see how far down under ground the Alabama Jumpers will burrow, perhaps shedding some light on the ability to survive the extreme cold weather in the continental U.S.
The exciting part to all of this now proves that just about anywhere in the continental U.S., avid gardeners with clay or hard packed non producing soils can take advantage of the Alabama Jumpers and the work they perform, revitalizing these types of soils with worm castings and aeration holes due to their burrowing underground.
Below are some newer pictures I have taken recently of the Alabama Jumpers on the Organic Worm Farm, a highly reputable worm business to order worms from.