Croton calcareus: a new species of dragon’s blood (Euphorbiaceae) from dry forest in the state of Chiapas, Mexico

Leticia Mateo-Ramírez, Ricarda Riina


We describe Croton calcareus Riina & Mateo-Ram. sp. nov., a new species in Croton section Cyclostigma (dragon’s blood trees) from the state of Chiapas (Mexico). This species is a small tree growing in dry forest on calcareous substrates. Both morphological and molecular data support C. calcareus sp. nov. as a new species closely related to C. redolens, another dry forest taxon from northern Venezuela. We provide illustrations, a distribution map and suggestions for species conservation status. The new species along with Croton draco are the only known representatives of C. section Cyclostigma occurring in Mexico.


Croton section Cyclostigma; dry forest; Euphorbiaceae; Neotropics; phylogeny

Full Text:




Arévalo R., van Ee B.W., Riina R., Berry P.E. & Wiedenhoeft A.C. 2017. Force of habit: shrubs, trees and contingent evolution of wood anatomical diversity using Croton (Euphorbiaceae) as a model system. Annals of botany 119: 563–579.

Areces-Berazain F. & Vega-Lopez V.J. 2019. Hampea lanceolata (Malvaceae, Malvoideae), a new species from Chiapas and Oaxaca, Mexico. Phytotaxa 404: 121–126.

Bachman S., Moat J., Hill A.W., de Torre J. & Scott B. 2011. Supporting red list threat assessments with GeoCAT: Geospatial conservation assessment tool. ZooKeys 150: 117–126.

Darriba D., Taboada G.L., Doallo R. & Posada D. 2012. jModelTest 2: more models, new heuristics and parallel computing. Nature Methods 9: 772.

Farias S.Q., Medeiros D. & Riina R. 2019. A new species of dragon’s blood Croton (Euphorbiaceae) endemic to the Serra dos Órgãos (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). PhytoKeys 126: 13–24.

Feio A.C., Meira R.M. & Riina R. 2018a. Leaf anatomical features and their implications for the systematics of dragon’s blood, Croton section Cyclostigma (Euphorbiaceae). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 187: 614–632.

Feio A.C., Ore-Rengifo M.I., Berry P.E. & Riina R. 2018b. Four new species of dragon’s blood Croton (Euphorbiaceae) from South America. Systematic Botany 43: 212–220.

Feio A.C., Riina R. & Meira R.M.S.A. 2016. Secretory structures in leaves and flowers of two dragon’s blood Croton (Euphorbiaceae): New evidence and interpretations. International Journal of Plant Sciences 177: 511–522.

Hijmans R.J., Phillips S., Leathwick J. & Elith J. 2013. dismo: Species Distribution Modeling. R package version 0.8–17. Available from [accessed 21 Apr. 2020].

Hirai R.Y., Sundue M.A. & Prado J. 2014. Adiantum alan-smithii (Pteridaceae), a new maidenhair fern from Chiapas, Mexico. Systematic Botany 39: 380–383.

IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria, version 3.1., Second Ed. IUCN, Gland / Cambridge. Available from [accessed 26 Jul. 2019].

Jones K. 2003. Review of Sangre de Drago (Croton lechleri) – A South American tree sap in the treatment of diarrhea, inflammation, insect bites, viral infections, and wounds: traditional uses to clinical research. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 9: 877–896.

Maddison W.P. & Maddison D.R. 2017. Mesquite: a modular system for evolutionary analysis. Version 3.2. Available from [accessed 26 Jul. 2019].

Martínez-Meléndez N., Martínez-Camilo R., Pérez-Farrera M.Á., Skog L.E. & Barrie F. 2014. Una especie nueva de Alsobia (Gesneriaceae) de Chiapas, México. Revista mexicana de Biodiversidad 85: 343–348.

Ochoa-Gaona S. 1996. La vegetación de la Reserva El Ocote a lo largo del cañón del río La Venta. In: Vásquez M.A. & March I. (eds) Conservación y Desarrollo sustentable en la Selva El Ocote, Chiapas: 45–86. El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, San Cristóbal de las Casas.

Ortiz-Díaz J.J., Arnelas I. & Pinzon J.P. 2016. Coccoloba tunii (Polygonaceae), a new species from Chiapas (Mexico). Phytotaxa 275: 75–80.

Rambaut A. 2006. FigTree v1.3.1. Available from [accessed 22 Jul. 2019].

Rambaut A., Suchard M.A, Xie D. & Drummond A.J. 2014. Tracer v1.7.1.

Available from [accessed: 24 July 2019].

Riina R., Berry P.E. & Cornejo X. 2007. A new species of “sangre de drago” (Croton section Cyclostigma, Euphorbiaceae) from coastal Ecuador. Brittonia 59: 97–101.[97:ANSOSD]2.0.CO;2

Riina R., Berry P.E. & van Ee B.W. 2009. Molecular phylogenetics of the dragon’s blood Croton section Cyclostigma (Euphorbiaceae): A polyphyletic assemblage unraveled. Systematic Botany 34: 360–374.

Riina R., Berry P.E., Secco R.D.S., Meier W. & Caruzo M.B.R. 2018. Reassessment of Croton sect. Cleodora (Euphorbiaceae) points to the Amazon Basin as its Main Center of Diversity. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 103: 330–350.

Ronquist F., Teslenko M., van der Mark P., Ayres D., Darling A., Höhna S., Larget B., Liu L., Suchard M.A. & Huelsenbeck J.P. 2012. MrBayes 3.2: Efficient Bayesian phylogenetic inference and model choice across a large model space. Systematic Biology 61: 539–542.

Ruiz-Sanchez E. 2015. Parametric and non-parametric species delimitation methods result in the recognition of two new Neotropical woody bamboo species. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 93: 261–273.

Salatino A., Salatino M.L.F. & Negri G. 2007. Traditional uses, chemistry and pharmacology of Croton species (Euphorbiaceae). Journal of the Brazilian Chemical Society 18: 11–33.

Santos R.F., Riina R. & Caruzo M.B.R. 2017. Diversity of arborescent lineages of Crotoneae (Euphorbiaceae) in the Brazilian Atlantic Rain Forest. Plant Systematics and Evolution 303: 1467–1497.

Steinmann V.W. & Carrillo-Reyes P. 2018. A revision of the New World Euphorbia adiantoides complex (Euphorbiaceae). Phytotaxa 350: 201–222.

Thiers B. continuously updated. Index Herbariorum: A Global Directory of Public Herbaria and Associated Staff. New York Botanical Garden’s Virtual Herbarium. Available from [accessed 3 Apr. 2020].

UNESCO. 2012. Selva El Ocote - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Available from [accessed 26 Jul. 2019].

van Ee B.W., Riina R. & Berry P.E. 2011. A revised infrageneric classification and molecular phylogeny of New World Croton (Euphorbiaceae). Taxon 60: 791–823.

Vitarelli N.C., Riina R., Caruzo M.B.R., Cordeiro I., Fuertes-Aguilar J. & Meira R.M.S.A. 2015. Foliar secretory structures in Crotoneae (Euphorbiaceae): Diversity, anatomy, and evolutionary significance. American Journal of Botany 12: 833–847.

Webster G.L., Del-Arco-Aguilar M.J. & Smith B.A.1996. Systematic distribution of foliar trichome types in Croton (Euphorbiaceae). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 121: 41–57.

Wiedenhoeft A.C., Riina R. & Berry P.E. 2009. “Ray-Intrusive” laticifers in species of Croton section Cyclostigma (Euphorbiaceae). IAWA journal 30: 135–148.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

License URL: