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Science: Cold-Weather Cockroach Invades NYC

Via Discovery:

A new species of cockroach that can withstand freezing temperatures has taken up residence in New York, scientists confirmed.

The resilient critter, Periplaneta japonica, had never been seen in the United States until an exterminator spotted some strange-looking roach carcasses last year on the High Line, a mile-long park built on an old elevated railway in Manhattan. Researchers confirmed the identity of the species, which is native to Asia and notable for its ability to thrive in cold climates, unlike the American cockroaches that populate New York and take shelter indoors when winter comes.

“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,” Rutgers insect biologist Jessica Ware said in a statement. “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.”. . .


And New York City managers are to blame: Ware and colleagues say it will be difficult to trace the source of the species, but they suspect Periplaneta japonica arrived in New York in the soil of one of the plants along the High Line, which first opened in 2009 and is still partially under construction. - Greg Pollowitz


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