Ariocarpus agavoides 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Caryophyllales Cactaceae

Scientific Name: Ariocarpus agavoides
Species Authority: (Castañeda) E.F.Anderson
Common Name(s):
English Tamaulipas Living Rock Cactus
Spanish Magueyito
Neogomesia agavioides Castañeda
Taxonomic Source(s): Hunt, D., Taylor, N. and Charles, G. (compilers and editors). 2006. The New Cactus Lexicon. dh Books, Milborne Port, UK.
Taxonomic Notes: Accepted as a valid species by all cactus researchers, including Anderson (2001) and Hunt (1999). Some hobbyists still prefer the old Castañeda generic name Neogomesia.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(v)+2ab(v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2009-11-18
Assessor(s): Fitz Maurice, W.A., Sotomayor, M., Gómez-Hinostrosa, C., Fitz Maurice, B & Hernández, H.M.
Reviewer(s): Superina, M. & Goettsch, B.K.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Hilton-Taylor, C.
Ariocarpus agavoides qualifies as Endangered because of its reduced extent of occurrence (EOO is 2,072 km²) and because the population is severely fragmented (although known from six locations). Even though the population is quite large and appears to be reproducing, there is a continuing decline in the overall population due to illegal collection.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2002 Vulnerable (VU)
1978 Vulnerable (V)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs in the Mexican states of Tamaulipas and San Luis Potosí. Early observations indicated that this species occurred in few areas around the city of Tula, Mexico, and were being heavily impacted by illegal collecting and urban development (Anderson et al. 1994). However, relatively recent fieldwork has clearly shown the species to occur over 400 km² (Fitz Maurice 1999; Hernández and Gómez-Hinostrosa 2011).
Countries occurrence:
Mexico (San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas)
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2: 24-37
Number of Locations: 6
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population numbers several thousand mature individuals in at least six known subpopulations.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Population severely fragmented: Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The species grows in xerophile shrubland among outcrops of calcareous rocks.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This cactus is highly sought after by collectors as an ornamental. The roots are eaten by local people as a sweet (the mucilage in the root is sweet).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Illegal collecting is the main threat. It is not known if the local harvesting for the roots is a threat or not.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This cactus is listed on CITES Appendix I, but the laws in the countries of destination need to be enforced. The plants are widely propagated in the trade. The illegal collecting is relatively less important with the larger number of plants now known. Two of the known subpopulations are in protected areas. This species is legally protected in Mexico by the national list of species at risk of extinction, NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010, where it is listed under category “subject to special protection” (Pr; SEMARNAT 2010).

Citation: Fitz Maurice, W.A., Sotomayor, M., Gómez-Hinostrosa, C., Fitz Maurice, B & Hernández, H.M. 2013. Ariocarpus agavoides. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T40956A2946887. . Downloaded on 01 December 2015.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided