A new cockroach that can withstand the harsh winter in the US has taken up residence in New York, scientist have confirmed.
The Periplaneta Japonica, which is native to Japan, had never been spotted in the US, until an exterminator working in New York, saw a strange looking roach carcass around an elevated railway in Manhattan.
After the report of the apparent new cockroach species, researchers got to work and identified, it was indeed the native Asian kind.
Unlike it’s cousin in the US, who migrates indoors during cold temperatures outdoors, this new cockroach can survive the harsh winters in New York with no problem.
Researchers can’t pinpoint exactly when or how the new species arrived in the US, but they suspect it was in the soil of the plants along the High Line, which started construction in 2009 and still hasn’t finished.
Rutgers insect biologist Jessica Ware said in a statement:
“About 20 years ago colleagues of ours in Japan reared nymphs of this species and measured their tolerance to being able to survive in snow. As the species has invaded Korea and China, there has been some confirmation that it does very well in cold climates, so it is very conceivable that it could live outdoors during winter in New York. That is in addition to its being well suited to live indoors alongside the species that already are here.”
The gardens that surround the High Line mainly use native plants, however, Ware says that many nurseries in the US house those plants with imported ones.
As creepy as the idea of having the new cold resistant roaches roaming around it New York City during the long winter months, researchers don’t believe the insect will become a big problem.
Researchers believe that the local species could compliment the new roaches and reproduction could slow as both try to compete for space and food.
The report, released on Monday, also indicates it is unlikely that a super roach could come as a result of the two species merging.
“The male and female genitalia fit together like a lock and key and that differs by species,” Rutgers doctoral student Dominic Evangelista said. “So we assume that one won’t fit the other.”
The study that determined the new cockroach species was published in the Journal of Economic Entomology.