Papposphaera obpyramidalis

Classification: Coccolithophores -> Coccolith families inc sed -> Papposphaeraceae -> Papposphaera -> Papposphaera obpyramidalis
Sister taxa: P. lepida, P. obpyramidalis, P. simplicissima, P. sagittifera, P. sarion, P. arctica, P. iugifera, P. heldalii, P. bourrellii, P. thomsenii, P. sp. type 1, P. sp. type 2, P. sp. type 3, P. sp. type 4, P. sp. type 5, P. sp. type 6, P. sp.,


Citation: Papposphaera obpyramidalis Thomsen in Thomsen et al., 1988
Rank: Species

Distinguishing features: Central areas with axial cross;
Process 1.5-2.5 µm high, low stem supports fan-shaped calyx of four large elements with rounded distal edges.

Farinacci & Howe catalog pages: Papposphaera obpyramidalis *

Morphology remarks: Coccoliths are varimorphic - calyx size varies with the largest calices at the flagellar pole ( Thomsen et al. 2016).  Calices were thought to be conical shaped but Thomsen et al. (2016) showed that even undisturbed coccospheres (seen in LM) they are flattened and, so fan-shaped.
Thomsen et al. (2016) also show that small underlayer scales occur, which is unusual in Papposphaera and Pappomonas, although common in Wigwamma, Turrisphaera, Trigonaspis and Quaternariella.

Size: Cell spherical, ca. 5 µm. Coccoliths, ca. 1.5 µm long;

Ecology & Biogeography: Described from Weddell Sea and most records are from Antarctic but also observed in the Arctic (Thomsen et al. 2016). Cell lacks chloroplasts (like other Arctic Papposphaeraceae) and has prominent haptonema so presumably is heterotrophic.

Search data:
TagsLITHS: murolith, elliptical, RIM: outer wall non-imbricate, rim-narrow, rim-top crenulate, CA: cross, cross-axial, process, PROCESS: calyx, spine,
CSPH: spherical, equant, CFC, monomorphic, varimorphic, DETAILS: ca_disjunct,
MetricsLith size: 1.3->1.5µm;
Sources: lith size (BC diameter) from OD
The morphological data given here can be used on the advanced search page. See also these notes

Geological Range:
Last occurrence (top): Extant Data source: present in the plankton (Young et al. 2003)
First occurrence (base): within No known fossil record modern (0.00-0.00Ma, base in stage). Data source: [JRY rough estimate]

Plot of occurrence data:

  • (NB There is no histogram as there are no occurrence records for the taxon in the Neptune database) Parent: Papposphaera


    Thomsen, H. A., Buck, K. R., Coale, S. L., Garrison, D. L. & Gowing, M. M. (1988). Nanoplanktonic coccolithophorids (Prymnesiophyceae, Haptophyceae) from the Weddell Sea, Antarctica. Nordic Journal of Botany. 8: 419-436. gs :: ::

    Thomsen, H. A., Egge, J. K. & Heldal, M. (2016b). Papposphaera obpyramidalis (Haptophyta, Papposphaeraceae): New findings from both Polar Regions. Revue de Micropaleontologie. 59: 267-273. gs :: ::

    Young, J. R., Geisen, M., Cros, L., Kleijne, A., Probert, I. & Ostergaard, J. B. (2003). A guide to extant coccolithophore taxonomy. Journal of Nannoplankton Research, Special Issue. 1: 1-132. gs :: view :: open


    Papposphaera obpyramidalis compiled by Jeremy R. Young, Paul R. Bown, Jacqueline A. Lees viewed: 5-6-2020

    Taxon Search:
    Advanced Search

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

    Comments (0)

    No comments yet on this page. Please do add comments if you spot any problems, or have information to share

    Add Comment

    * Required information
    Captcha Image
    Powered by Commentics