Classification: Coccolithophores -> Discoasterales -> Discoasteraceae -> Catinaster
Sister taxa: Discoaster, Catinaster,

Daughter taxa: (blue => in age window 0-800Ma)

Curved rays extend beyond basket

Rays bifurcate to form distal rim of basket, but do not extend significantly beyond it

Compact nannolith formed of six stubby rays with similar shape to C. coalitus but lacking the basket-like structure.
Specimens which cannot be assigned to established species


Citation: Catinaster Martini and Bramlette, 1963
Rank: Genus
Type species: Catinaster coalitus Martini & Bramlette 1963

Distinguishing features:

Discoasterids with bifurcate ray tips that meet to form a basket like structure

Farinacci & Howe catalog pages: Catinaster *

Morphology remarks:

Catinasters are rather curious sub-cylindrical or cup-shaped nannofossils. They have six-fold radial symmetry and the same crystallographic orientation as discoasters. There are two main species, C. coalitus which has septae-like radial structures confined to the cup, and C. calyculus in which radial structures extend beyond the cup. The cup was probably formed by fusion of the bifurcations of a small discoaster (Martini & Worsley 1971, Peleo-Alampay et al., 1998).

Search data:
TagsLITHS: nannolith-radiate, N: basket-like, star-shaped, RIM: tips-bifurcate,
CSPH: not known, V-UNITS: all, V-prominent, R-UNITS: none, DETAILS: 1ou,
MetricsLith size: 4->13┬Ám; Segments: 6->6;
The morphological data given here can be used on the advanced search page. See also these notes

Geological Range:
Last occurrence (top): near top of Messinian Stage (86% up, 5.6Ma, in Messinian stage). Data source: Total of range of species in this database
First occurrence (base): in lower part of Tortonian Stage (17% up, 10.9Ma, in Tortonian stage). Data source: Total of range of species in this database

Plot of occurrence data:


Martini, E. & Bramlette, M. N. (1963). Calcareous nannoplankton from the experimental Mohole drilling. Journal of Paleontology. 37: 845-855. gs :: ::

Martini, E. & Worsley, T. (1971). Tertiary calcareous nannoplankton from the western equatorial Pacific. Initial Reports of the Deep Sea Drilling Project. 7: 1471-1507. gs :: view :: open

Peleo-Alampay, A., Bukry, D., Liu, L. & Young, J. R. (1998). Late Miocene calcareous nannofossil genus Catinaster: taxonomy, evolution and magnetobiostratigraphy. Journal of Micropalaeontology. 17(1): 71-85. gs :: view :: open

Raffi, I., Backman, J. & Rio, D. (1998). Evolutionary trends of tropical calcareous nannofossils in the late Neogene. Marine Micropaleontology. 35(1): 17-41. gs :: ::

Young, J. R. (1998). Neogene. In, Bown, P. R. (ed.) Calcareous Nannofossil Biostratigraphy. British Micropalaeontological Society Publication Series. 225-265. gs :: ::


Catinaster compiled by Jeremy R. Young, Paul R. Bown, Jacqueline A. Lees viewed: 10-8-2020

Taxon Search:
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Short stable page link: Go to to create a permanent copy of this page - citation notes

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