A new species of cockroach, normally only found in Asia, has been discovered in New York City. The species known as Periplaneta japonica originated in Japan and is said to be a possible threat to the American cockroach.
Not only do the Asian cockroaches thrive in the extreme cold, they also can survive in the typical climate for an American cockroach. “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. “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.”
People are concerned that the two different species could cross-breed and create a hybrid super roach. However, a graduate student, Dominic Evangelista, working with Ware suggests that this theory is very unlikely to happen. “The male and female genitalia fit together like a lock and key that that differs by species,” said Evangelista. “So we assume that one won’t fit the other.”
The discovery comes after an exterminator in High Line Park in New York City discovered a strange insect carcass and sent it to the University of Florida to be studied. The complete detailed research from Ware and Evangelista can be found in the Journal of Economic Entomology.
Image via Wikimedia Commons