Emiliania huxleyi

Classification: Coccolithophores -> Isochrysidales -> Noelaerhabdaceae -> Emiliania -> Emiliania huxleyi
Sister taxa: E. huxleyi, E. sp.,

Distinguishing features: See generic diagnosis (monospecific)

Daughter taxa: (blue => in age window 0-300Ma) Granddaughter taxa
Shields sub-parallel; highly variable tube width; usually with a grill in the central area; usually robust distal shield elements (<50% of distal shield area is slits)

Distal shield curved in profile, not parallel to proximal shield, often smaller than proximal shield; tube narrow; central area open, or with plate or irregular laths; delicate distal shield elements (>50% of distal shield area is slits)


Citation: Emiliania huxleyi (Lohmann 1902) Hay & Mohler, in Hay et al. 1967
Rank: Species
Basionym: Pontosphaera huxleyi Lohmann 1902
Notes & discussion: Variability of extant E. huxleyi: Young & Westbroek (1991) distinguished four types (A, B, C & corona) based on heterococcolith morphology, see also van Bleijswijk et al. (1991) and Young (1994). Medlin et al. (1996) consider these types should be regarded as separate varieties there proposed names are noted as suynonyms of the ypes but since te stutus of these morphotypes is till being actively resrearched and with conflicting results we prefer to retain the informal morphotype designations. 
More recent research has both recognised more varieties and supported sub-dividing them into two sets - A Group and B Group. These two groups seem to be consistently separable using shape in profile, central area structures and degree of calcification, and there is no evidence of culture strains changing morphology from one group to the other.
Within each group numerous different varieties can be recognised but these tend to intergrade.

Farinacci & Howe catalog pages: Coccolithus cordus * Coccolithus cucullus * Coccolithus huxleyi tenuis * Cricolithus adriaticus * Cricolithus jonesi * Pontosphaera huxleyi *

Distinguishing features: See generic diagnosis (monospecific)

Morphology remarks: Coccospheres often with multiple layers of coccoliths.
The open structure of E. huxleyi coccoliths makes them highly vulnerable to both overgrowth and etching.

Ecology & Biogeography: Ubiquitous species, often forming blooms. Dominant neritic species in the Atlantic, but G. oceanica fills this niche in much of the Indian Ocean and Pacific.

Search data:
TagsLITHS: placolith, skeletal, elliptical, RIM: slits, CA: grill, vacant,
CSPH: spherical, monomorphic, V-UNITS: none, R-UNITS: all, c-str, distal shield, prox shield, tube, DETAILS: ca_conjunct, isogyres kinked, isogyres oblique, rim-unicyclic,
MetricsLith size: 2->5µm; Coccosphere size: 4->10µm; Liths per sphere: 10->50
The morphological data given here can be used on the advanced search page. See also these notes

Geological Range:
Notes: Determining exact lacement of FAD is tricky even with SEM, but if E. huxleyi is common age is definitely within N21
Last occurrence (top): Extant Data source: zonal marker, e.g Young 1998
First occurrence (base): within NN21 zone (0.00-0.29Ma, base in Ionian stage). Data source: Young 1998

Plot of occurrence data:

  • Histogram - Neptune occurrence data from DSDP and ODP proceedings. Pale shading <50 samples in time bin. Interpret with caution & read these notes
  • Taxon plotted: Emiliania huxleyi, synonyms included - Coccolithus huxleyi; Emiliania huxleyi; Emiliania huxleyi acme; Pontosphaera huxleyi; Emiliania huxleyi (<4 µm); Emiliania huxleyi (>5 µm); Emiliania huxleyi (4-5 µm); space-time plot :: Samples map :: Parent: Emiliania


    Cohen, C.L.D., (1965). Coccoliths and discoasters, some aspects of their geologic use. Geologie en Mijnbouw, 55: 337-344.

    Hay, W.W.; Mohler, H.P.; Roth, P.H.; Schmidt, R.R. & Boudreaux, J.E., (1967). Calcareous nannoplankton zonation of the Cenozoic of the Gulf Coast and Caribbean-Antillean area, and transoceanic correlation. Transactions of the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies, 17: 428-480.

    Kamptner, E., (1930). Der Kalkflagellaten der Süsswaters und ihre Beziehungen zu jenen des Brackwassers und des Meeres. International review der gesamten Hydrobiologie und Hydrographie, 24: 147-163.

    Kamptner, E., (1943). Zur Revision der Coccolithineen-Spezies Pontosphaera huxleyi Lohm. Anzeiger der (Kaiserlichen) Akademie der Wissenschaften. Mathematische-Naturwissenschaftliche Klasse. Wien, 80: 73-49.

    Kamptner, E., (1967). Kalkflagellaten - Skelettreste aus Tiefseeschlamm des Südatlantischen Ozeans. Annalen des Naturhistorischen Museums in Wien, 71: 117-198.

    Lecal, J. & Bernheim, A., (1960). Microstructure du squelette de quelques Coccolithophorides. Bull. Soc. Hist. Nat. Afr. Nord, 51: 273-297.

    Lohmann, H., (1902). Die Coccolithophoridae, eine Monographie der Coccolithen bildenden Flagellaten, zugleich ein Beitrag zur Kenntnis des Mittelmeerauftriebs. Archiv für Protistenkunde, 1: 89-165.

    Medlin, L.K.; Barker, G.L.A.; Green, J.C.; Hayes, D.E.; Marie, D.; Wrieden, S. & Vaulot, D., (1996). Genetic characterization of Emiliania huxleyi (Haptophyta). Journal of Marine Systems, 9: 13-32.

    Reinhardt, P., (1972). Coccolithen. Kalkiges Plankton seit Jahrmillionen. Die neue Brehm-Bücherei. A. Ziemsen Verlag, 99 pp.

    van Bleijswijk, J. & others, (1991). Distribution of two types of Emiliania huxleyi (Prymnesiophyceae) in the North East Atlantic Region as determined by immunoflourescence and electron microscopy. Journal of Phycology, 27(3): 566-570.

    Young, J.R. & Westbroek, P., (1991). Genotypic variation in the coccolithophorid species Emiliania huxleyi. Marine Micropaleontology, 18: 5-23.

    Young, J.R., (1998). Neogene. In: Bown, P.R. (Editor), Calcareous Nannofossil Biostratigraphy. British Micropalaeontological Society Publications Series. Chapman & Hall, London, pp. 225-265.


    Emiliania huxleyi compiled by Jeremy R. Young, Paul R. Bown, Jacqueline A. Lees viewed: 12-11-2018

    Taxon Search:
    Advanced Search
    Short stable page link: http://mikrotax.org/Nannotax3/index.php?id=533Go to Archive.is to create a permanent copy of this page - citation notes

    Comments (0)

    No comments yet. Be the first!

    Add Comment

    * Required information
    Captcha Image
    Powered by Commentics