Dentoglobigerina tripartita

Classification: pf_cenozoic -> Globigerinidae -> Dentoglobigerina -> Dentoglobigerina tripartita
Sister taxa: D. juxtabinaiensis, D. binaiensis, D. sellii, D. tapuriensis ⟩⟨ D. baroemoenensis, D. larmeui, D. galavisi ⟩⟨ D. altispira, D. globosa, D. globularis ⟩⟨ D. prasaepis, D. pseudovenezuelana, D. taci, D. tripartita, D. eotripartita, D. venezuelana, D. sp.


Citation: Dentoglobigerina tripartita (Koch 1926)
Rank: Species
Basionym: Globigerina bulloides tripartita
Taxonomic discussion:

This is a very common species that can dominate assemblages, especially in the upper Oligocene, and it also persists well into the Miocene. Its evolution seems to have involved gradual development of more compact spherical forms, at times having even fewer than three whole chambers in the final whorl, and there is also an increasingly frequent occurrence of a small, cap-like final chamber.

When the Atlas of Eocene Planktonic Foraminifera was published, we had been unable to obtain SEMs of the holotype of Globigerina tripartita Koch, and we based our concept on the re-illustration provided by Blow and Banner (1962) and the concept developed by Blow and Banner (1962), Blow (1969) and Blow (1979) from their studies of material from the upper Eocene of Tanzania. Here we provide new SEMs of the holotype for the first time which reveal a robust, sub-spherical form, as is typical in particular of upper Oligocene assemblages, which contrasts with the smaller, more gracile forms described by Blow and Banner (1962) and various other authors up to Olsson and others (2006) from the Eocene. In this study we follow Pearson and Wade (2015) in regarding those forms as distinct, and we name a new species, D. eotripartita, to accommodate them (see discussion under that species). Our revised concept of the true tripartita is exemplified by specimens previously illustrated by Brönnimann and Resig (1971), Quilty (1976), and Leckie and others (1993) from a variety of deep sea drill sites.

Bolli (1957) named Globigerina rohri from the opima Zone of Trinidad, but seems to have been unaware of the previously described Globigerina tripartita Koch. Blow and Banner (1962) re-studied and re-illustrated the holotype of tripartita and proposed that it was a senior synonym of rohri (see also Blow, 1969, 1979), which was followed by Stainforth and others (1975) and most other authors and seems also to have been accepted by Bolli (see Bolli and Saunders, 1985, in which rohri is not mentioned). However, Spezzaferri and Premoli Silva (1991:248) and Spezzaferri (1994) recognized tripartita and rohri as distinct taxa.

Blow and Banner (1962) described Globoquadrina dehiscens praedehiscens from the upper Oligocene of Trinidad, arguing that the morphology was the direct ancestor of Globoquadrina dehiscens. Blow (1969) illustrated another adult specimen and the internal morphology of two dissected specimens, revealing what he called the “Globigerina tripartita early stage” (Blow, 1969, caption to pl. 29). We would now regard this as a “Dentoglobigerina eotripartita” early stage. In our view, this interesting observation supports the evolutionary relationship between eotripartita and tripartita, and indicates that the eotripartita morphology likely persists as a juvenile into the uppermost Oligocene. Whereas most authors to date have accepted the notion of an evolutionary lineage from praedehiscens to dehiscens, others (e.g., Fleisher, 1974, and Stainforth and others, 1975) have disagreed, regarding praedehiscens as a variant of tripartita (see also discussion in Iaccarino, 1985). Pearson and Wade (2009) examined new specimens from very close to the type locality of praedehiscens and placed it in questionable synonymy with tripartita.

As part of our study we have examined the type specimens of all three of these historically important species and obtained new SEMs (compared on Plate 11.14). Although one can recognize minor differences between the specimens (e.g., rohri is somewhat more spherical, and praedehiscens has a more obvious umbilical tooth) such variability is within the normal bounds of populations. Moreover, there is little difference in the reported stratigraphic ranges of the three taxa. Hence we here regard them as synonyms, with tripartita having seniority. In our investigations we have found no evidence that tripartita (=praedehiscens) is ancestral to dehiscens. Instead, we describe morphological intermediates between Dentoglobigerina larmeui and Globoquadrina dehiscens (see discussion under those taxa), the latter taxa forming a separate but morphologically similar subclade in the dentoglobigerinid tree (Figure 11.1).

Globigerina sakitoensis Asano was described from the Oligocene of Japan. Blow (1969) and (1979) considered this form to be synonymous with Dentoglobigerina sellii and Dentoglobigerina tapuriensis, respectively. Although we have not obtained new holotype images of this species, based on the original drawings and description, we considered this form to be a junior synonym of Dentoglobigerina tripartita. Globigerina sastrii Raju is a rather extreme, almost bilobate form that we also include here in synonymy. [Wade et al. 2018]

Catalog entries: Globigerina bulloides tripartita, Globoquadrina dehiscens praedehiscens, Globigerina rohri

Type images:

Distinguishing features: Test compact, subcircular to subquadrate; cap-like final chamber extends over umbilicus.
Aperture umbilically centered; with an irregular, subtriangular lip.

NB These concise distinguishing features statements are used in the tables of daughter-taxa to act as quick summaries of the differences between e.g. species of one genus.
They are being edited as the site is developed and comments on them are especially welcome.


Wall type: Cancellate, probably spinose in life, pustulose, with concentrations of pustules on the umbilical shoulders. [Wade et al. 2018]

Morphology: Large, robust, globular, sub-spherical, outline sub-circular; in spiral view 3 embracing, elliptical shaped chambers, arranged in a moderate trochospire, that rapidly increase in size in final whorl, ultimate chamber may be reduced in size; in edge view globular, sub-circular in outline; in umbilical view 3 embracing chambers in final whorl that rapidly increase in size, final chamber commonly reduced in size, somewhat reniform, umbilicus small, triangular, open, aperture umbilical bordered by an irregular triangular shaped tooth covered in small pustules. [Wade et al. 2018]

Size: Maximum diameter of holotype 0.52 mm, minimum diameter 0.50 mm. [Wade et al. 2018]

Character matrix

test outline:Subtriangularchamber arrangement:Trochospiraledge view:Equally biconvexaperture:Umbilical
sp chamber shape:Petaloidcoiling axis:Moderateperiphery:N/Aaperture border:Tooth
umb chbr shape:Globularumbilicus:Narrowperiph margin shape:Broadly roundedaccessory apertures:None
spiral sutures:Moderately depressedumb depth:Deepwall texture:Cancellateshell porosity:Finely Perforate: 1-2.5µm
umbilical or test sutures:Strongly depressedfinal-whorl chambers:3.0-3.0 N.B. These characters are used for advanced search. N/A - not applicable

Biogeography and Palaeobiology

Geographic distribution: Cosmopolitan; it is common in the tropics and Miocene examples have been found up to 63oN at DSDP Site 407 (Poore, 1979). [Wade et al. 2018]

Isotope paleobiology: Oligocene specimens from ODP Hole 758A registered among the most positive δ18O of planktonic assemblages indicating a deep habitat, although earliest Oligocene specimens may have had a shallower water preference (van Eijden and Ganssen, 1995). [Wade et al. 2018]

Phylogenetic relations: Dentoglobigerina tripartita evolved from D. eotripartita n. sp. in the early Oligocene. [Wade et al. 2018]

Most likely ancestor: Dentoglobigerina eotripartita - at confidence level 3 (out of 5). Data source: Wade et al. 2018.

Biostratigraphic distribution

Geological Range:
Notes: This species has a distinct acme in the upper Oligocene. The oldest figured specimen we assign to this species is from lower Oligocene Zone O2 of DSDP Site 313, where the range is reported to extend intermittently down into the upper part of Zone O1 (Fleisher, 1975). We have observed tripartita sensu stricto appearing in the middle part of Zone O1 at IODP Site U1334 (B.S. Wade, unpublished data). The reported highest occurrence is variable, possibly because of varying species concepts. At IODP Sites U1337 and U1338 in the equatorial Pacific Ocean it is common to the top of Subzone M5b, and then infrequent until middle Miocene Zone M10/M11 (Pälike and others, 2010). The youngest figured specimen is from Zone M7 (Fox and Wade, 2013). [Wade et al. 2018]
Last occurrence (top): within M7 zone (13.77-14.24Ma, top in Serravallian stage). Data source: Wade et al. 2018 (tentative)
First occurrence (base): within O1 zone (32.10-33.90Ma, base in Priabonian stage). Data source: Wade et al. 2018

Plot of occurrence data:

Primary source for this page: Wade et al. 2018 - Olig Atlas chap.11 p.368; Olsson et al. 2006 - Eocene Atlas, chap. 13, p. 408


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Dentoglobigerina tripartita compiled by the pforams@mikrotax project team viewed: 28-1-2021

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