CATALOG - Calciodinellum levantinum

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Original descriptions of taxa. For coccolithophores, and many calcispheres, these are pages from the Catalog of Calcareous Nannofossils. In other cases (e.g. non-calcifying haptophytes) the data is directly compiled on this site. The "Catalogue of Calcareous Nannofossils" was compiled by Prof A. Farinacci 1969-1989 and updated by Richard Howe 2000-2016 - see also this page.
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Current identification/main database link: Calciodinellum levantinum Meier, Janofske, & Willems 2002

Compiled data

Citation: Calciodinellum levantinum Meier, Janofske & Willems, 2002
Rank: Species
Type locality: W. Mediterranean; Tyrrhenian Sea; 40.33N; 12.12E
Type level: Holocene
Standardised type level: 160_HOLOCENE
Type sample: Sample no. 79, surface sediment at 3412m depth
Type specimens: Holotype: Cyst no. SM SV/7, SEM micrographs 10331 (Fig. 3a), 10332 (Fig. 3b), cyst now cut in thin sections on slides SV 8-9, inventory number GSUB M 16
Type repository: Bremen; Geosciences Collection of the University of Bremen
Repository Country: Germany
Farinacci catalog page (& compiler): n/a

Original Description
Diagnosis: Theca tabulation pattern po, x, 4', 3a, 7'', 6c (t+5c), 6s, 5''', 2''''. Epitheca slightly conical, hypotheca rounded. Epitheca equal in size with hypotheca. Spherical cysts formed by a single calcareous layer of rhomboedric skeletal crystals, which are coalesced and interlocked. Paratabulation pattern is reflected by an angular archaeopyle. The operculum represents the plates 2'–4' and 1a–3a and comprises ca. 1/3 of the cyst. Combination archeopyle. The orientation of the crystallographic axes (c-axes) of the crystals is tangential to the cyst wall.
Figure 2 gives the important morphological features of cyst and thecate stage of C. levantinum.

Cyst stage. The description is based on cysts from the sediment samples and from strain GeoB *165. The cysts are spherical with a diameter of 18.4 to 38.3 µm (mean, 25.7 µm; n =23). The archeopyle is always angular and matches the shape of other species of Calciodinellum, exactly reflecting plates 2'–4' and 1a–3a of the motile stage (Fig. 3, a–d). The size of the operculum is about one third that of the whole cyst (Fig. 3, d–f). The crystals forming the cyst wall are generally rhomboedric in shape but show a skeletal appearance, because they are often hollow (Fig. 3b). The single crystals are interlocked (Fig. 3b). The orientation of the crystallographic axes to the cyst wall is tangential (Fig. 2), which can only be seen in very thin-walled specimens or in thin sections. However, the morphologically longest axis of the crystals can be oriented radially to the cyst wall (Fig. 3f). Cysts from the sediment are often affected by diagenetic processes. The crystals may then appear as complete rhomboeders and the crystal edges can be rounded, which can even lead to a nearly smooth cyst surface. The wall is 1.5–2 µm thick and consists of a single calcareous layer of crystals. Cysts from cultures are often covered on both the outside and inside by a thin noncellulosic organic layer, which is considered to be a residue of the biomineralization process and not a separate organic cyst wall layer (Fig. 3, e–f). On the inside the cyst is smooth and the crystals show a polygonal outline and are interlocked. These interlocking elements and their rhomboedric shape are characteristics for the cysts in polarized light using a LM.

Thecate stage.
The description is based on thecae from strain GeoB *165. It was established by the isolation of one cyst, which germinated between the 14th and the 23rd day after isolation. Motile cells (Fig. 3, g–i) are 17.4 to 27.9 µm long and 15 to 26 µm wide (21.7 µm length by 20.2 µm width on average, n =8). The theca tabulation pattern is po, x, 4', 3a, 7'', 6c (t+5c), 6s, 5''', 2'''' (Figs. 2 and 3, g–i). The pore plate (po) is slightly elliptical with a small ridge running along its border. The canal plate (x) is narrow and pentagonal. The apical plates (1'–4') are irregularly polygonal. The intercalary plates 1a and 3a are pentagonal, whereas the 2a is hexagonal and relatively large. The precingular plates (1''–7'') are mostly pentagonal except for the 1'' and 4'', which are trapezoids. The cingular series consists of six plates divided into a small transitional plate (t) and five larger cingular plates (2c–6c). The borders between the cingular plates generally do not correspond with the borders between the preor postcingular plates. Exceptions are the border between 3c and 4c, which corresponds with the border of 3'' and 4'' and the border between 4c and 5c that corresponds to the 3''' and 4''' border. The sulcus is divided into six irregularly shaped plates. The four main plates are the anterior sulcal plate (as), the posterior sulcal plate (ps), the left sulcal plate (ls), and the right sulcal plate (rs). Additional plates are the anterior and posterior flagellar pore plates (af and pf), which are very small and generally overlapped by the rs. The postcingular series consists of five plates (1''''–5'''), which are mostly trapezoids, except for the 3''', which is pentagonal. The two antapical plates (1'''' and 2'''') are pentagonal and nearly identical in shape.

Size: Cyst diameter 18 - 40 µm

Etymology: Levantine Sea, according to the origin of the culture

Extra details from original publication
Discussion. The theca tabulation pattern of Calciodinellum levantinum is characteristic for the genus Calciodinellum. Characteristic differences to previously described members of this genus were not found. Small variations in size and shape of the sulcal plates are present but not considered to be important for the taxonomy (Janofske and Karwath 2000). Based on the thecate stage, C. levantinum cannot be distinguished from other species of this genus. Furthermore, its theca tabulation pattern also corresponds to that of the genera Scrippsiella Balech ex Loeblich III emend. Janofske (Janofske 2000) and Leonella Janofske et Karwath (Janofske and Karwath 2000). However, these genera can be distinguished by their cysts (i.e. by the orientation of the crystallographic c-axes of the crystals forming the wall and the archeopyle). Leonella is characterized by a radial orientation of the crystallographic c-axes and a small circular archeopyle (Janofske and Karwath 2000), whereas Scrippsiella has a tangential crystallographic orientation of the crystals and an archaeopyle not representing a paratabulation (Janofske 2000).

Cysts of C. levantinum and cysts of Pernambugia tuberosa (Janofske and Karwath 2000) have often been confused in earlier studies as Sphaerodinella tuberosa (Table 3), due to the similar shape of the crystals forming the wall. Recent investigations on cultures showed that P. tuberosa has in fact an oblique orientation of the crystallographic c-axes and a large nonparatabulated archeopyle (Janofske and Karwath 2000). On the other hand, the now invalid genus Sphaerodinella Keupp et Versteegh (Streng et al. 2002) was originally described to have a radial orientation of the crystallographic c-axes (Keupp and Versteegh 1989). A tangential orientation of the crystallographic c-axes combined with a paratabulated archeopyle exactly reflecting 2'–4' and 1a–3a is typical for the genus Calciodinellum (Janofske and Karwath 2000). Therefore, the new species C. levantinum is established.


Meier, K. J. S., Janofske, D. & Willems, H. (2002). New calcareous dinoflagellates (Calciodinelloideae) from the Mediterranean Sea. Journal of Phycology. 38: 602-615. gs :: ::


Calciodinellum levantinum: Catalog entry compiled by Jeremy Young. Viewed: 29-5-2020

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