UK & World News

  • 9 December 2013, 14:42

Cockroach Which Survives Cold Found In New York

A new breed of cockroach that can withstand cold temperatures and had never been seen before in the US has moved to New York.

It was first spotted in the city in 2012 by an exterminator working on the High Line, a park that turned a dilapidated stretch of elevated railway on Manhattan's West Side into a tourist attraction.

Insect biologists believe the cockroach was likely a stowaway in the soil of ornamental plants used to adorn the park.

The species Periplaneta Japonica, while new to the US, is well documented in Asia.

It is similar to other types of cockroaches found in New York - but, unlike them, it can survive outdoors in the freezing cold.

Insect biologist Jessica Ware, from Rutgers University, said: "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.

"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 finding was published in the Journal of Economic Entomology.

Scientists say it is too soon to predict the impact but that there is probably little cause for concern.

The population is not expected to rise because the cockroaches will compete with each other for space and food, with more time devoted to surviving than to reproducing.

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