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New species of cockroach can survive freezing conditions

Posted at 5:44 PM, Dec 10, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-10 17:44:51-05

New York (WPIX) — Living in New York, it’s a way of life you can say; pesky cockroaches just invading spaces where you don’t want them. They are fearless and quick. But, a new breed…really?

It is known as the Periplaneta japonica, a type of roach well documented in Asia, but never actually confirmed here in the United States — until now. The roach was spotted on the High Line by an exterminator in 2012, but was recently identified by scientists from Rutgers University, Dominic Evangelista and Jessica Ware.

If you’re wondering how it got here, experts say it was likely a stowaway in the soil of plants that are used to line the elevated park. The roach made it’s way here and reproduced.

To add to the horror, you know how regular cockroaches can survive pretty much anything? These guys have special powers as well: they can survive outdoors in the freezing cold.

Some were worried these cockroaches would mate with the ones already in New York and create a super bug of sorts. But, don’t worry. Experts say it’s impossible, as the gentalia of the two species don’t “match.”

“The male and female genitalia fit together like a lock and key and that differs by species,” Evangelista said.

By Dan Mannarino