Matching global and regional distribution models of the recluse spider Loxosceles rufescens: to what extent do these reflect niche conservatism?

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The Mediterranean recluse spider, Loxosceles rufescens (Dufour, 1820) (Araneae: Sicariidae) is a cosmopolitan spider that has been introduced in many parts of the world. Its bite can be dangerous to humans. However, the potential distribution of this alien species, which is able to spread fairly quickly with human aid, is completely unknown. Using a combination of global and regional niche models, it is possible to analyse the spread of this species in relation to environmental conditions. This analysis found that the successful spreading of this species varies according to the region invaded. The majority of populations in Asia are stable and show niche conservatism, whereas in North America this spider is expected to be less successful in occupying niches that differ from those in its native region and that do not support its synanthropic way of living.
Alien spider, Biological invasions, Loxoscelism, Niche conservatism, Regional niche