Invasive cockroach found in NYC can take the cold - KMSP-TV

Invasive cockroach found in NYC can take the cold

Posted: Updated:
In this Jan. 9, 2013 photo provided by the University of Florida, the female Periplaneta japonica is shown.(AP Photo/University of Florida) In this Jan. 9, 2013 photo provided by the University of Florida, the female Periplaneta japonica is shown.(AP Photo/University of Florida)
In this Jan. 9, 2013 photo provided by the University of Florida, both male, left, and female Periplaneta japonica are shown. (AP Photo/University of Florida) In this Jan. 9, 2013 photo provided by the University of Florida, both male, left, and female Periplaneta japonica are shown. (AP Photo/University of Florida)

By FRANK ELTMAN

NEW YORK (AP) - The High Line, a park that turned a dilapidated stretch of elevated railway on Manhattan's West Side into one of New York's newest tourist attractions, may have brought a different kind of visitor: a cockroach that can withstand harsh winter cold and never seen before in the U.S.

Rutgers University insect biologists Jessica Ware and Dominic Evangelista said the species Periplaneta japonica is well documented in Asia but was never confirmed in the United States until now. The scientists, whose findings were published in the Journal of Economic Entomology, say it is too soon to predict the impact but that there is probably little cause for concern.

"Because this species is very similar to cockroach species that already exist in the urban environment," Evangelista said, "they likely will compete with each other for space and for food."

That competition, Ware said, will likely keep the population low, "because more time and energy spent competing means less time and energy to devote to reproduction."

Michael Scharf, a professor of urban entomology at Purdue University, said the discovery is something to monitor.

"To be truly invasive, a species has to move in and take over and out-compete a native species," he said. "There's no evidence of that, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be concerned about it."

The newcomer was first spotted in New York in 2012, by an exterminator working on the High Line.

The scientists suspect the little critter was likely a stowaway in the soil of ornamental plants used to adorn the park. "Many nurseries in the United States have some native plants and some imported plants," Ware said. "It's not a far stretch to picture that that is the source."

Periplaneta japonica has special powers not seen in the local roach population: It can survive outdoors in the freezing cold.

"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," Ware said. "I could imagine japonica being outside and walking around, though I don't know how well it would do in dirty New York snow."

The likelihood that the new species will mate with the locals to create a hybrid super-roach is slim.

"The male and female genitalia fit together like a lock and key, and that differs by species," Evangelista says. "So we assume that one won't fit the other."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Attractive players in tennis, help or hurt?

    Attractive players in tennis, help or hurt?

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 12:58 PM EDT2014-08-27 16:58:19 GMT
    The U.S. Open is underway in Queens and there's no denying that many of the players, both men and women, are in great physical shape and know how to play that up. Women are particularly promoted in the industry as attractive, fashionable and fiercely competitive. Does that help the game and draw more people in?
    The U.S. Open is underway in Queens and there's no denying that many of the players, both men and women, are in great physical shape and know how to play that up. Women are particularly promoted in the industry as attractive, fashionable and fiercely competitive. Does that help the game and draw more people in?
  • Cuomo orders investigation into Time Warner outage

    Cuomo orders investigation into Time Warner outage

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 12:48 PM EDT2014-08-27 16:48:25 GMT
    Time Warner Cable suffered a nationwide outage primarily impacting its Internet service on Wednesday morning. More than 11 million customers were affected.  Several hours later, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered an investigation into the outage. "I have directed the New York State Department of Public Service to investigate this outage as part of its review of Comcast's proposed merger with Time Warner," said Cuomo.
    Time Warner Cable suffered a nationwide outage primarily impacting its Internet service on Wednesday morning. More than 11 million customers were affected.  Several hours later, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered an investigation into the outage. "I have directed the New York State Department of Public Service to investigate this outage as part of its review of Comcast's proposed merger with Time Warner," said Cuomo.
  • Man kills wife, wounds self at NJ hospital

    Man kills wife, wounds self at NJ hospital

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 11:50 AM EDT2014-08-27 15:50:16 GMT
    Authorities say a man fatally shot his wife and wounded himself at a hospital in southern New Jersey. Camden County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Jason Laughlin says the shooting happened Wednesday at Kennedy University Hospital in Stratford. The man was being treated for his injuries.
    Authorities say a man fatally shot his wife and wounded himself at a hospital in southern New Jersey. Camden County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Jason Laughlin says the shooting happened Wednesday at Kennedy University Hospital in Stratford. The man was being treated for his injuries.

Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices