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Black Widow Spiders move farther north than ever before



The poisonous black widow spider continues to spread north. Using data from citizen scientists, researchers were able to detect changes in the distribution of rare spider species. They found that the Black Widow colonized new habitats and it is likely that climate change has contributed to its continued colonization on the northern edge of Canada.

As global climate change changes the environment, many animals are drawn into regions could not have found before. However, these shifts in the distribution areas were not documented due to lack of information.

In the latest study, researchers combined the observations of civic scientists and museum collectors, mapping the spread of two spider species, the Northern Black Widow and the Black Web spider. The researchers found that the arachnids are in motion and occur much more frequently in the far north towards Canada and provide insights into the response of spiders to global climate change.

"Our models show the first reliable distribution maps of these two species," said senior researcher Yifu Wang of McGill University.

"Spider distributions are relatively little known, and range maps are often based only on where scientists found the species." Using the example of Northern Black Widow Spider and Black purse-web spider, this work shows that we have Citizen Science data and To bridge the knowledge gaps of less explored species.

To further validate the modeled distribution of each species, researchers want to carry out extensive sampling that will help to address some of the gaps in different species Filling the species distribution maps

"We suggest that citizen scientists be commissioned with a monitoring project on a platform such as Bugguide and iNaturalist to conduct a large-scale sampling effort," said Wang, "This would be a fast, low-cost, highly-efficient and innovative way to these predictive models to a large extent tab. "


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