From Southeast Asia to Global Dominance : The Journey of Cockroaches

From Southeast Asia to Global Dominance : The Journey of Cockroaches
Cockroach dominance | canva

Cockroaches: these six-legged, resilient creatures are infamous for infesting homes and seemingly defying extermination. While they're now synonymous with urban environments, a groundbreaking genetic study reveals their fascinating evolutionary journey and their unexpected partnership with humans.

Researchers analyzed the DNA of over 280 cockroaches from 17 countries, spanning six continents. Their findings confirmed that the German cockroach, the most common species found worldwide, originated in Southeast Asia. This species likely evolved from the Asian cockroach roughly 2,100 years ago.

Hitchhiking with Humans

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that cockroaches' global spread was facilitated by human activities. Cockroaches likely traveled west to the Middle East in soldiers' provisions around 1,200 years ago. Later, they may have stowed away on Dutch and British East India Company ships, arriving in Europe about 270 years ago.

As Stephen Richards, an insect geneticist not involved in the study, aptly puts it, "It's not just an insect story; it's an insect and humanity story."

Adapting to Urban Life

Once cockroaches reached new continents, technological advancements like the steam engine and indoor plumbing inadvertently aided their proliferation. These innovations provided ideal environments for cockroaches to thrive, leading to the infestations we often see today.

Evolving Resistance

Modern cockroaches are notoriously difficult to control due to their rapid evolution and resistance to pesticides. Qian Tang, a postdoctoral researcher and study author, emphasizes that understanding their past adaptations is crucial for developing more effective pest control strategies in the future.

Akhyari Hananto

I began my career in the banking industry in 1997, and stayed approx 6 years in it. This industry boost his knowledge about the economic condition in Indonesia, both macro and micro, and how to More understand it. My banking career continued in Yogyakarta when I joined in a program funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB),as the coordinator for a program aimed to help improve the quality of learning and teaching process in private universities in Yogyakarta. When the earthquake stroke Yogyakarta, I chose to join an international NGO working in the area of ?disaster response and management, which allows me to help rebuild the city, as well as other disaster-stricken area in Indonesia. I went on to become the coordinator for emergency response in the Asia Pacific region. Then I was assigned for 1 year in Cambodia, as a country coordinator mostly to deliver developmental programs (water and sanitation, education, livelihood). In 2009, he continued his career as a protocol and HR officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Surabaya, and two years later I joined the Political and Economic Section until now, where i have to deal with extensive range of people and government officials, as well as private and government institution troughout eastern Indonesia. I am the founder and Editor-in-Chief in Good News From Indonesia (GNFI), a growing and influential social media movement, and was selected as one of The Most Influential Netizen 2011 by The Marketeers magazine. I also wrote a book on "Fundamentals of Disaster Management in 2007"?, "Good News From Indonesia : Beragam Prestasi Anak Bangsa di dunia"? which was luanched in August 2013, and "Indonesia Bersyukur"? which is launched in Sept 2013. In 2014, 3 books were released in which i was one of the writer; "Indonesia Pelangi Dunia"?, "Indonesia The Untold Stories"? and "Growing! Meretas Jalan Kejayaan" I give lectures to students in lectures nationwide, sharing on full range of issues, from economy, to diplomacy Less
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