Invasive worms containing ‘lethal neurotoxin’ found thriving in several U.S. states: ‘They have the potential to do damage’

The hammerhead worm, an invasive species that contains a lethal neurotoxin, has been found thriving in several U.S. states.

The worm, which is native to Asia, is now found in at least 15 states, including Alabama, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The hammerhead worm is a flatworm that can grow up to 10 inches long. It is brown or black in color and has a hammer-shaped head.

The worm contains a neurotoxin that is similar to the toxin found in pufferfish. The toxin can be deadly to humans if ingested, but it is more likely to cause skin irritation.


The hammerhead worm is a predator that eats snails, slugs, and earthworms. It is also known to prey on small vertebrates, such as salamanders and frogs. The worm’s voracious appetite can have a negative impact on native ecosystems.

In addition to its potential to harm native wildlife, the hammerhead worm is also a concern for gardeners. The worm can damage plants by eating their roots. It can also spread plant diseases.

People should avoid handling the worm and should wash their hands thoroughly after gardening. They should also dispose of any dead worms properly.

The discovery of the hammerhead worm in the U.S. is a reminder of the dangers of invasive species. Invasive species can cause significant ecological and economic damage.


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