The male (L) and female cockroach of the species Periplaneta japonica that has been found on New York City's high line.

The male (L) and female cockroach of the species Periplaneta japonica that has been found on New York City's High Line. Photo: Reuters

A species of cockroach native to Asia that has been seen crawling around an outdoor tourist destination in New York City can survive the city's often brutal winters, according to a new study.

Researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey have identified the resilient pest as Periplaneta japonica, which is native to Japan. Until an exterminator saw the bug last year crawling around the High Line, an elevated, outdoor park in lower Manhattan, it had not been confirmed in the United States.

While it was too soon to predict the implications for nearby residents and businesses, the bug's appearance could be good news, researchers said.

New York's High Line ... this gorgeous and recently opened landscaped park is on a reclaimed, elevated industrial rail line stretching 22 blocks from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street, close to the Hudson on the west side of Manhattan.

New York's High Line. Photo: Getty Images

"(Cockroaches) combined numbers inside buildings could actually fall because (the) more time and energy they spent competing (for food and space) means less time and energy to devote to reproduction," said Rutgers biologist Dominic Evangelista, who helped identify the species by analysing its DNA barcode.

How the bugs got to New York was unclear, but researchers speculated they were in the soil of one of the plants festooning the park.

Researchers noted the new roach cannot breed a hybrid super-roach by mating with the more common local variety due to mismatching genitalia.

Reuters