Investigation of the Problem
Directions: You are a biologist hired by the State of Arizona to investigate the validity of the classification of an endangered subspecies: the Arizona hedgehog cactus. This cactus grows in a limited area in central Arizona. There are some other cacti growing in the mountains of Cochise county in southeastern Arizona which some botanists think are the same variety as the Arizona Hedgehog. If this is true, then the endangered subspecies is really widespread. Your job is to learn everything you can about these plants to make your determination.
Answer the following questions as you watch the AZ Hedgehog Digitized Slideshow.
1) What are your initial impressions and observations of this
plant (Echinocereus triglochidiatus variety arizonicus)?
2) Describe the environment here at the type locality
(landscape, soil, plants, probable climate).
3) How is the environment in the nearby canyon different from
that at the type locality?
4) What factors might be contributing to the long life (probably
>100 years) of this plant?
5) Describe as many characteristics of this arizonicus plant as you can.
6) Does the plant from the nearby canyon look the same as the
arizonicus plant from the type locality? _________
What characteristics are different in this plant compared to the one you just observed?
7) What conclusions can you draw about how sun exposure affects
the characteristics of these cacti?
8) Which characteristics would be the most reliable for identifying
9) Describe the environment at this location in Cochise County
10) Describe your initial impressions and observations of this
plant (variety neomexicanus).
11) What factors might have contributed to the condition of
12) Describe the characteristics of this plant from SE Arizona in terms of central and radial spine number and length, and any other characteristics you can observe.
13) How do the characteristics of variety triglochidiatus
differ from arizonicus and neomexicanus?
14) Does neomexicanus share enough characteristics with
arizonicus (compared to triglochidiatus) to be considered the