CATALOG - Coccolithites

Folder trail: Farinacci -> C -> Coccolithites
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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.
Taxa are sorted alphabetically for simple browsing, or you can use search boxes at the top & bottom of the page

Coccolithites has 93 sub-taxa these are grouped in 3 pages
1 C. acu :: 2 C. gam :: 3 C. sul

= Pontosphaera multipora
= Ceratolithus cristatus HET coccolithomorpha type

= Pontosphaera syracusana

= Haqius circumradiatus

= Clausicoccus fenestratus

= Campylosphaera dela

= Ellipsolithus distichus

= Retecapsa ficula

Coccolithites has 93 sub-taxa these are grouped in 3 pages
1 C. acu :: 2 C. gam :: 3 C. sul

Current identification/main database link: Unidentifiable nannofossil

Compiled data

Citation: Coccolithites Kamptner 1955
Rank: Genus
Type species: Not given
Farinacci catalog page (& compiler): 3022
Language: DE

Coccolithites was an invalid genus since no type species was designated and it was intended as a provisional taxon, hence all species described in the genus are considered invalid under ICBN unless revalidated later (Loeblich & Tappan 1966). This is perhaps convenient, since most of the species are unrecognisable from the illustrations.

The 70 species described in Coccolithites by Kamptner (1955) were mostly been revalidated, by Kamptner (1956), in the genera Calyptrolithus, Discolithus, and Cyclolithus. They were however all described from one sample (Rotti 168) with mediocre preservation and extensive reworking, they were only illustrated by line drawings and none of the species have been adopted in standard nannofossil taxonomy. Jafar (1975) attempted to re-identify the species using the type material but concluded it was neither possible nor useful. This is one of the clearest single cases of a set of taxa which should be formally suppressed.

The species described in Coccolithites by Bramlette and Sullivan (1961) have almost all been revalidated, mostly by Sullivan 1964. In this case Loeblich & Tappan (1966) regard the original descriptions as valid since the were described under the ICZN but since we now always treat coccolithophores as an algal group under the ICBN descriptions did need to be revalidated. To be really pedantic citations should probably be of the form Ellipsolithus macellus (Bramlette & Sullivan 1961 ex Sullivan 1964) or Ellipsolithus macellus (Sullivan 1964) rather than Ellipsolithus macellus (Bramlette & Sullivan 1961).

The putative Palaeozoic species described in Coccolithites by Deflandre (1970) have not been revalidated.


Bramlette, M. N. & Sullivan, F. R. (1961). Coccolithophorids and related nannoplankton of the Early Tertiary in California. Micropaleontology. 7(2): 129-188. gs :: ::

Deflandre, G. (1970). Présence de nannofossiles calcaires (coccolithes et incertae sedis) dans le Siluro-dévonien d'Afrique du Nord. Comptes Rendus Hebdomadaires des Séances de l'Académie des Sciences, Paris. 270: 2916-2921. gs :: ::

Jafar, S. A. (1975). Calcareous nannoplankton from the Miocene of Rotti, Indonesia. Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen; Afdeling Natuurkunde Verhandelingen. 28: 1-99. gs :: ::

Kamptner, E. (1955). Fossile Coccolithineen-Skelettreste aus Insulinde. Eine mikropaläontologische Untersuchung. Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen; Afdeling Natuurkunde Verhandelingen. ser 2, 50: 1-105. gs :: ::

Kamptner, E. (1956). Zur Systematik und Nomenklatur der Coccolithineen. Anzeiger der Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Mathematische-Naturwissenschafliche Klasse, Wien. 93: 4-11. gs :: ::

Loeblich, A. R. & Tappan, H. (1966). Annotated index and bibliography of the calcareous nannoplankton. Phycologia. 5: 81-216. gs :: ::

Noël, D. (1970). Coccolithes Crétacés: La Craie Campanienne du Bassin de Paris. Éditions du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris. -. gs :: ::

Sullivan, F. R. (1964). Lower Tertiary nannoplankton from the California Coast Ranges. I. Paleocene. University of California Publications in Geological Sciences. 44: 163-227. gs :: ::


Coccolithites: Catalog entry compiled by Anna Farinacci. Viewed: 13-7-2020

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