Conservation biogeography and diversity of tarantulas in Argentina


Conservation biogeography and diversity of tarantulas in Argentina



There is significant concern regarding the impact of many human activities and the subsequent biodiversity loss. Protected areas stand as crucial global conservation tools, their correct selection and design play a key role. The biology characteristics of tarantulas make them vulnerable to fragmentation in time and space, yet they remain underrepresented in ongoing conservation initiatives.


This study seeks an integrative biogeographic approach to conservation by assessing multi-specific distribution patterns, specific richness, and tarantula endemism in Argentina. To achieve this, we performed an endemicity analysis using the optimality criterion and a panbiogeographical approach. Finally, we evaluated the protection degree of the areas obtained with the known protected areas.


The most supported areas of endemism and the richest were found in Southern Andean Yungas and the Atlantic Forest of Alto Paraná. Also, the Valdivian Temperate Forest was recovered as an area of endemism. From panbiogeographic analysis, biogeographic nodes were located in La Rioja, Formosa and Salta provinces. Many of the obtained areas exhibit low or no degree of protection.


There is partial agreement among the different results obtained (species richness, areas of endemism, biogeographic nodes) with previous studies in relation to relevant conservation areas. Some new areas identified are also relevant for tarantula conservation.

Implications for insect conservation:

We propose priority conservation areas of Argentinean tarantulas and emphasize their significance for the persistence of their populations.

Maite Allegue, Leonela Schwerdt, Nelson Ferretti, Conservation biogeography and diversity of tarantulas in Argentina, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2024;, blae002,