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A new genus of the cactus family from the state of Nuevo Leon in Mexico – Digitostigma caput-medusae Velazco and Nevarez

Carlos G. Velazco Macias and Manuel Nevarez de los Reyes
British Cactus & Succulent Journal
Vol. 21, No. 2 (June 2003), pp. 58-65
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/42793879
Page Count: 8
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Abstract

We describe a new genus for the cactus family (Cactaceae) for a plant that is found in the state of Nuevo Leon, Mexico. We include the description of the new genus and species (Digitostigma caput-medusae) and compare the new genus with the genera Obregonia, Leuchtenbergia and Ariocarpus as well as a morphological comparison with the subtribes Echinocactinae and Thelocactinae in the tribe Cacteae. A preliminary survey was made to quantify population size and qualitatively assess status in order to determine current threats to the populations of Digitostigma caputmedusae. A total of 127 individuals were identified in three isolated populations, bearing both fruits and flowers. The effect of livestock grazing in the area could be a threat to the populations. The distribution of one population was limited by land conversion. Due to the limited number of individuals and restricted distribution, this species should be considered as endangered in both national and international endangered species lists. Further studies are needed to assess accurately the current status of the population and find possible solutions for its conservation.

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