Are people on the Upper West Side really so different from the kids in Williamsburg? If we’re talking about the NYC cockroach population, the answer is yes. Research from Rockefeller University sheds light on the distinct genetics found in cockroach “neighborhoods” throughout the city.
Lead scientist Mark Stoeckle recently sat down with National Geographic to talk about the National Cockroach Project and what they’ve found in Manhattan, Roosevelt Island, and beyond.
Cockroaches, like New Yorkers, love their neighborhoods.
The Second Avenue Subway won’t be revolutionizing the commute for cockroaches anytime soon.
The National Cockroach Project has been genetically tracking cockroaches from all over the country, crowd-sourcing the critters from people who mail them in. Scientists were surprised to find identifiable genetic differences in roaches of the same species from opposite sides of Central Park.
Stoeckle likes to say that cockroaches have a lot in common with New Yorkers. They descend from immigrants, they have a lot in common with each other, but they do stick to their own turf.
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Bug scientists often say that pests like cockroaches get a worse reputation than they deserve—but when asked what they do at home, they kill them like everybody else!
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