The High Line, 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 that 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."