By: Betty Chu
New York, N.Y. — Meh, maybe that headline's a bit of an overstatement ... buuut, the cockroach Periplaneta japonica, native to Asia, has been discovered at a New York City park. The insect is especially creepy because it can withstand freezing temperatures and has never been seen before in the United States.
In this Jan. 9, 2013, photo provided by the University of Florida, both male, left, and female Periplaneta japonica are shown. The Periplaneta japonica is a new strain of cockroach possessing powers to withstand harsh winter cold. The species has never been seen before in the United States, but has invaded New York City. Scientists say that while it is too soon to predict the insect’s impact, there is probably little cause for concern. Photo Credit: AP Photo/University of Florida
The Asian transplant was first sighted in 2012 by exterminators working at the High Line park, which opened in 2009. Scientists are guessing the little bugger hitched a ride aboard plants imported to decorate the park.
Fortunately for us, experts do not believe it will qualify as an "invasive" species — i.e. dominating and wiping out the natives — only because they will be too busy competing with the locals for food instead of prolifically reproducing.
Hopefully, they will at least have some time to enjoy one of the first snows of the holiday season today, like the locals. Check them out here on the Cockroach Cam, keeping warm by the fire: