Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species is endemic to Mexico, where it is widespread. It occurs in the Mexico Federal District and the states of Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Hidalgo, México State, Michoacán, Morelos, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, Puebla, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, and Veracruz. It grows from 1,090 to 2,600 m asl (Arias et al. 1997, Hernández et al. 2004). It has been reported from the literature in the state of Jalisco (Hernández et al. 2004).
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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Global Range: Native of central Mexico; escaped occasionally, notably in Australia. California Chaparral (in U.S.). Sporadic near Thompson creek N. of Claremont, Los Angeles Co.,California.

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Physical Description

Type Information

Holotype for Opuntia macdougaliana Rose
Catalog Number: US 453485
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): J. N. Rose, J. H. Painter & J. S. Rose
Year Collected: 1905
Locality: Puebla, Mexico, North America
  • Holotype: Rose, J. N. 1908. Smithsonian Misc. Collect. 50: 516.
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Holotype for Opuntia icterica Griffiths
Catalog Number: US 3053305
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): D. Griffiths
Year Collected: 1905
Locality: Jalisco, Mexico, North America
  • Holotype: Griffiths, D. 1913. Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 23: 138.
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Isotype for Opuntia tomentella A. Berger
Catalog Number: US 3047450
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Botany
Verification Degree: Original publication and alleged type specimen examined
Preparation: Pressed specimen
Collector(s): F. Eichlam
Year Collected: 1909
Locality: Guatemala, Central America
  • Isotype: Berger, A. 1912. Monatsschr. Kakteenk. 22: 147.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
The species inhabits Quercus forests, xerophyllous scrub and grasslands (Arias et al. 1997). It tolerates disturbance.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Comments: Deep soils with water available.

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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

The genus is among the most interspecifically promiscuous plants (Benson and Walkington, 1965; Grant and Grant, 1971b; 1979; Griffith, 2001; Pinkava, 2002) that easily propagates vegetatively; as evidenced by its clonal dominance in some areas (Grant and Grant, 1971a).

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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
Gómez-Hinostrosa, C. & Arias, S.

Reviewer/s
Superina, M. & Goettsch, B.K.

Contributor/s

Justification
Opuntia tomentosa is listed as Least Concern because it is common, wide ranging, occurs within many protected areas, and has no major threats.
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National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: GNR - Not Yet Ranked

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Population

Population
This species is very common.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
There are no major threats to this species at present. A potential threat to species of the genus Opuntia is the invasion of the cactus moth Cactoblastis cactorum, which can exterminate populations completely (Zimmerman et al. 2000).
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Comments: Most cacti subject to horticultural collecting.

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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is found in numerous protected areas.
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