A new genus in the Cactaceae family from the state of Nuevo Leon, Mexico: Digitostigma caput-medusae Velazco et Nevarez sp. nov.
(only an abstract and pictures; full translation in Russian only)
Carlos G. Velazco Macias, Manuel Nevarez de los Reyes
From the Editor. Sensation or a practical joke? Such comments could be heard at publishing of the article by Carlos G. Velazco Macias and Manuel Nevarez de los Reyes "A new genus in the Cactaceae family from the state of Nuevo Leon, Mexico" in the journal "Cactaceas y suculentas mexicanas" in the end of 2002. Is it really possible? A new genus, a GENUS, not a species, in the beginning of the 21st century! It's hard to believe but it is really so. A discovery has been made and it is a real one. We may only say that the Nature is still full of mysteries and has many wonders and secrets in store for us.
As to this new sensation the team of Cultivar supports the request of Carlos Velazco - an author of the article and a discoverer of the new genus: "I am glad to know about your interest in publishing the article, I do not think there is any problem you have our permission to do so, but I will appreciate you add some text to discourage any person who has the intention to come to Mexico and look for the plants in the wild, now there is surveillance for this species and we are not person who can be bought with some money (as I found on the net, some persons think we are). I hope you do not get me wrong, we are trying to protect the species, they will soon be on propagation with authorization of our government, so please highlight this in the publication. Yours Carlos Velazco"
Let us be patient. Let us not make a Klondike out of this discovery. The area of this plant is so small it won't take much time to devastate it completely.
Surely there are many people who wish to make possession of this plant and perhaps to knock up a fortune out of it. But I would like to say again: RESTRAIN YOUR ARDOUR AND BE PATIENT!
We express our warmest gratitude to the authors of the article for their permission to publish a Russian translation and most cordially thank Manuel Nevarez de los Reyes for the high quality pictures of the new plant.
We describe a new genus for the cactus family (Cactaceae) that is located 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 caput-medusae.
A total of 127 individuals were identified in three isolated populations having a left skewed size distribution. We found fruits and flowers and the effect of livestock grazing could be a threat to the populations. The distribution of one population was limited by land conversion. Due to the limited amount of individuals and restricted distribution, this species should be considered as endangered in both national and i nternational endangered species lists. Further studies are needed to accurately assess the current status of the population and find possible solutions for its conservation.
(An abstract is taken from the journal "Cactaceas y suculentas mexicanas")
Photos for this article:
General view of the plant
General view of the flower
Longitudinal section of the flower
Ventral view of the seed
Side view of the seed