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Epithelantha F.A.C.Weber ex Britton & Rose, Cactaceae 3: 92. 1922 sec. Aquino & al. 2019


Revised by David Aquino


Phylogenetics: The number of accepted species in Epithelantha has been constantly changing, while some authors, e.g. Donati & Zanovello (2011) recognized about half a dozen species, others, e.g. Hunt (2016) accepted only two (E. bokei and E. micromeris). Hitherto only E. micromeris had been sampled in phylogenetic studies (Vázquez-Sánchez & al. 2013, Bárcenas & al. 2011), and found in an isolated position within the tribe Cacteae.
Aquino & al. (2019) have performed a detailed phylogenetic study of the genus and reconstructed the phylogeny of Epithelantha using sequences from the four plastid regions petL-psbE, psbA-trnH, trnL-F, and trnQ-rps16 and a set of morphological characters. Epithelantha was recovered as monophyletic with maximal support as sister to Turbinicarpus. The tree was fully resolved at the species-level and all clades corresponding to species received high or maximal support, thus providing a reliable basis for accepting in total 10 species.A

Taxon standing

Category A. The genus is monophyletic based on a complete or very comprehensive phylogenetic study, and a phylogeny-based taxonomic synopsis was published.B


A. Aquino, D. 2021: Revisions of Epithelantha, Kadenicarpus, Rapicactus, Turbinicarpus – In: Korotkova N. & al., Cactaceae at Caryophyllales.org – a dynamic online species-level taxonomic backbone for the family. – Willdenowia 51: 251-270
B. Aquino, D., Cervantes, R.C., Gernandt, D.S. & Arias, S. 2019: Species delimitation and phylogeny of Epithelantha (Cactaceae). – Systematic Botany 44(3): 600-615