The High Line has been a gathering place for all kinds of characters since it opened in 2009, and now it’s even attracted an invasive cockroach species from Asia. The newly found bug was spotted at the elevated park and researchers are saying it is the first time the insect has been reported in the U.S. Unlike its American cousins, the newcomer is annoyingly resistant to cold, meaning it can even survive outdoors during freezing temperatures.

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Known as the Yamato or Japanese cockroach, the bug was first spotted on the High Line in 2012 by an exterminator. The Associated Press spoke with a number of Rutgers University insect biologists, who confirmed that the species is normally found in Asia. The scientists theorize the pest might have come abroad as a stowaway in the soil of ornamental plants used to adorn the park.

According to the Rutgers researchers, the population should stay fairly small as the periplaneta japonica will be too busy competing with other roaches. Purdue University’s Michael Scharf, however, says that they could turn out to be a truly invasive species that out-competes native cockroaches. Meanwhile, be thankful that the likelihood of the new species mating with the local population to create a hybrid super-roach is slim.

+ The High Line

via ABC News

Images © Leonel Ponce for Inhabitat and Jesse W. Dill