New Cockroach Discovered In The US Notable To Withstand Cold Climate, Study Says

By on Dec 10, 2013 in Animals, Science, United States, World Comments
New Cockroach Species Periplaneta japonica
found on New York City’s High Line in 2012.

Credit: Lyle Buss, Univ. of Florida

A new cockroach species has been discovered in the United States crawling around an outdoor tourist destination in New York City. The cockroach has been positively identified as Periplaneta japonica which is well documented in Asia.

Report says, the new cockroach had never been seen in the United States before until it was spotted on 2012 by an exterminator working on the High Line, an elevated old railway and park on Manhattan’s West Side. He is not familiar with the insect, so he sent the carcasses to the University of Florida for identification.

According to researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey, the new species named Periplaneta japonica was known to be native in Japan. It can survive not just indoors where it’s warm, but it is also notable for its ability to withstand in cold climates compared to the American cockroaches that take shelter indoors when winter comes.

The confirmation of the presence of the new cockroach species in the United States was documented by Rutgers insect biologists Jessica Ware and Dominic Evangelista. It was revealed in a study just published in the Journal of Economic Entomology called “Using DNA Barcodes to Confirm the Presence of a New Invasive Cockroach Pest in New York City.”

Rutgers insect biologist Jessica Ware said, “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.”

Researchers said that it is not certain how the cockroach arrived in the US, but they suspect that one or more of the ornamental plants arrived in soil to adorn the High Line Park may contain the new cockroach.

“Many nurseries in the United States have some native plants and some imported plants, so it’s not a far stretch to picture that that is the source,” Ware said as quoted in a report.

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