Periplaneta japonica: Biologists identify a species of cockroach in New York City that can reportedly survive a winter there, according to a report released Monday. The newcomer is from Asia. Might it evict its American cousin?
While the New York City real estate market is tight for humans, it just got a bit more competitive for cockroaches as well. A species of this much-maligned insect – one that can survive in freezing temperatures – has lately made its way from Asia to the Big Apple.
The species, Periplaneta japonica, is native to Japan and could threaten the American cockroach, currently the pervasive species in New York, according to a recent report published by the Journal of Economic Entomology.
In situations like this, when a migrating species arrives, the new and old rarely end up cohabiting. Moreover, the Japanese cockroaches’ ability to withstand cold temperatures could give them a one-up on their American counterparts.
“It is very conceivable that it [the Japanese cockroach] 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,” researcher Jessica Ware said, in a statement.
The two types of cockroaches “are competing for space and food,” says Ms. Ware, from Rutgers University in Rutgers, N.J. This means there will likely be a winner, and a loser, in the cockroach real estate game, she explains in a telephone interview with the Monitor.