Rhabdosphaera xiphos

Classification: Coccolithophores -> Syracosphaerales -> Rhabdosphaeraceae -> Rhabdosphaera -> Rhabdosphaera xiphos
Sister taxa: R. clavigera, R. gracilenta, R. poculii, R. vitrea, R. xiphos, R. sp.,


Citation: Rhabdosphaera xiphos (Deflandre & Fert 1954) Norris, 1984
Rank: Species
Basionym: Rhabdolithus xiphos Deflandre & Fert 1954

Distinguishing features: Long delicate spines with collar near base

Farinacci & Howe catalog pages: Rhabdolithus xiphos *

Morphology remarks: Ordinary liths broadly elliptical. About 9 relatively large, imbricate, plates of lamellar cycle, produce a distinctive star pattern on the distal surface. Spine-bearing liths circular, spines long (6-7 µm) delicate and tapering, with collar near base.

Biology & life-cycles: Supraha et al. (2018) illustrate  a single combination coccosphere with R. xiphos heterococcoliths and rather poorly formed holococcoliths. The holococcoliths are suggested to resemble Calicasphaera blokii and Calyptrosphaera dentata, but are too poorly formed for either identification to be certain. 

Search data:
TagsLITHS: planolith, elliptical, sub-circular, CA: process, PROCESS: length-slow, narrow, parallel-sided, spine, tall,
CSPH: spherical, equant, BC+process, BC-dimorphic, polymorphic, R-UNITS: spine, R-prominent, DETAILS: ca_disjunct,
MetricsLith size: 5->8µm; Coccosphere size: 15->20µm; Liths per sphere: 35->65
Sources: lith length from illustrated specimens; csph data from Cros & Fortuño 2003; lith numbers from Yang & Wei 2003, range inferred from single estimate
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 NP19-20 zone (34.44-36.97Ma, base in Priabonian stage). Data source: Dunkley Jones et al., 2009

Plot of occurrence data:

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


    Cros, L. & Fortuño, J. -M. (2002). Atlas of northwestern Mediterranean coccolithophores. Scientia Marina. 66: 186-. gs

    Deflandre, G. & Fert, C. (1954). Observations sur les coccolithophoridés actuels et fossiles en microscopie ordinaire et électronique. Annales de Paléontologie. 40: 115-176. gs

    Dunkley Jones, T., Bown, P. R. & Pearson, P. (2009). Exceptionally well preserved upper Eocene to lower Oligocene calcareous nannofossils (Prymnesiophycidae) from the Pande Formation (Kilwa Group), Tanzania. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. 7(4): 359-411. gs

    Supraha, L., Ljubesic, Z. & Henderiks, J. (2018). Combination coccospheres from the Eastern Adriatic coast: New, verified and possible life-cycle associations. Marine Micropaleontology. 141: 23-30. 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


    Rhabdosphaera xiphos compiled by Jeremy R. Young, Paul R. Bown, Jacqueline A. Lees viewed: 7-4-2020

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    Short stable page link: http://mikrotax.org/Nannotax3/index.php?id=1200 Go to Archive.is to create a permanent copy of this page - citation notes

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