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A NEW STROMBOCACTUS RECENTLY DISCOVERED


Report of the recent discovery of a new Strombocactus species endemic to the desert mexican areas: Strombocactus corregiodorae.

by: Divisione ricerca19/01/2013

Long considered a monospecific genus, it seems that the much-loved (and wanted) Strombocactus disciformis, so far the only species of the genus Strombocactus, should no longer suffer of loneliness: during an expedition into the rugged gorges of Infernillo, near Zimapan (Hidalgo, Mexico), researchers S. Arias and E. Sanchez have in fact stumbled across some specimens of plants morphologically different from those notes, so to suggest a second species of Strombocactus.

It was 2008 when S. Arias and E. Sanchez, head of a team of experts from the botanical garden of Cadereyta, conducted a study on the environmental conditions besetting the canyon of Infernillo, one of the areas of the world with the highest biological value because of the wealth of endemic cacti, threatened by increase of human activity. Because of the large variability in altitude, and thus in climate, in an area of approximately 200 km² are present about 50 species, although very different from each other: between 900 m of the valley and over 3000 m of the ridges of the canyon stand Mammillaria, Turbinicarpus, Cylindropuntia, Strombocactus and others, even at the risk of extinction.

During reconnaissance and enumeration of the genera and species found in nature, the researchers wrote down the characteristics and the approximate location of the discovery of the plants. Easy to imagine their surprise to find a Strombocactus other than the S. disciformis that they used to recognize: a more robust and massive structure, larger, gray-black spines and yellow flowers, a most impressive overall appearance.

They soon realized the exceptional discovery, but only accurate lab tests could certify the correctness of the intuition, giving scientific certainty: two years later, in 2010, researchers published the results of research on the Mexican Magazine of Biodiversity, baptizing the new species with the name of "Strombocactus corregiodorae" [S.Arias & E.Sanchez].

 

Strombocactus corregiodorae Strombocactus corregiodorae

 

Find more on:
Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad 81:619-624, 2010

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