Opuntia repens 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Magnoliopsida Caryophyllales Cactaceae

Scientific Name: Opuntia repens Bello
Common Name(s):
English Roving Pricklypear
Opuntia ekmanii Werderm.
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: No taxonomic issues.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2011-07-26
Assessor(s): Majure, L. & Griffith, P.
Reviewer(s): Superina, M. & Goettsch, B.K.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): García, N.
Opuntia repens has a relatively wide range (its extent of occurrence is 27,000 km2), and no specific major threats are known to be affecting it. It is therefore listed as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Opuntia repens is found in the Puerto Rican archipelago (Hunt et al. 2006), Salt Island in the British Virgin Islands, Tobago, and Little Hans Lollick Island in the US Virgin Islands (Heatwole et al. 1981). The record in Tobago is dubious because it is disjunct and the substrate is very different from other occurrences (P. Griffith pers. comm. 2011). Therefore, the Tobago distribution has been excluded from this assessment. 
This species has been found in on the US Virgin Islands of St. Thomas, Tortola, Virgen Gorda, Culebra, Monito, Desecheo, Mona, Caja de Muertos, and Vieques (Acevedo-Rodriguez et al. 1996). In Puerto Rico it has been observed between 1 and 20 m asl but there is no additional information on elevation from the rest of the occurrences. The species is present in approximately 10 to 12 locations.
Countries occurrence:
Puerto Rico; Virgin Islands, British; Virgin Islands, U.S.
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:27
Number of Locations:10-12
Lower elevation limit (metres):1
Upper elevation limit (metres):20
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There is little information on the population of this cactus.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Opuntia repens is a crawling plant (Heatwole et al. 1981) that forms thickets (Hunt et al. 2006). In St. Thomas it was observed on rocky outcrops.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species is not used.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no specific major threats to this species. However, it may be affected by habitat loss due to human expansion and tourism.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species occurs in some protected areas. In Puerto Rico, Mona Island is designated as a nature reserve and is uninhabited. Also in Puerto Rico, Desecheo Island is protected as a US National Wildlife Refuge. No conservation measures have been proposed.

Amended [top]

Amended reason: The species distribution map has been included.

Classifications [top]

3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability:Suitable season:resident 
0. Root -> 6. Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks)
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes

Bibliography [top]

Acevedo-Rodriguez, P. 1996. Flora of St. John: US Virgin Islands. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York.

Acevedo-Rodríguez, P. and Collaborators 1996. Flora of Saint John, US Virgin Islands. Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden 78: 1-581.

Heatwole, H., Levins, R. and Byer, M.D. 1981. Biogeography of the Puerto Rican Bank. Atoll Research Bulletin.

Hunt, D., Taylor, N. and Charles, G. (compilers and editors). 2006. The New Cactus Lexicon. dh Books, Milborne Port, UK.

IUCN. 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2013.1). Available at: (Accessed: 12 June 2013).

IUCN. 2017. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2017-3. Available at: (Accessed: 5 December 2017).

Citation: Majure, L. & Griffith, P. 2017. Opuntia repens (amended version of 2013 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T151835A121569557. . Downloaded on 17 July 2018.
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