Globigerina officinalis

Classification: pf_cenozoic -> Globigerinidae -> Globigerina -> Globigerina officinalis
Sister taxa: G. bulloides, G. falconensis, G. umbilicata, G. archaeobulloides, G. officinalis, G. sp.,


Citation: Globigerina officinalis Subbotina 1953
Rank: Species
Basionym: Globigerina officinalis
Synonyms: [Spezzaferri et al. 2018]
Taxonomic discussion:

Described from the upper Eocene and lower Oligocene of the Northern Caucausus, Globigerina officinalis Subbotina has been little used by workers, which may be due to its small size and lack of biostratigraphic value. Subbotina (1953) stressed the variability in size of the ultimate chamber of G. officinalis and illustrated this range of variation in a suite of specimens. Thus, there is a moderate range of variability in the initial lineage of Globigerina and it is preferable to treat these morphotypes as a single species, G. officinalis. Under our taxonomy we recognize Globigerina officinalis as the first species in the evolution of the genus Globigerina. The earlier development of Globigerina (bulloides-type) wall texture is observed in Subbotina crociapertura Blow, which first appears in Zone E7. Subbotina crociapertura, however, retains the basic subbotinid test morphology and has a distinctive umbilical-extraumbilical hook-shaped aperture, which suggests a morphologic trend away from the Globigerina test morphology. Nevertheless, the origin of the genus may derive from closely related subbotinid morphotypes either related to this species or to its probable ancestor species, Subbotina roesnaesensis Olsson and Berggren.

Previously, Globigerina praebulloides, described from the upper lower Miocene (Zone M3/4) of Venezuela (Blow, 1959), has been regarded as the ancestor of G. bulloides. Our new SEM images of the holotype (USNM 625701) of G. praebulloides Blow confirms that it has a Globigerina (bulloides-type) wall texture, however, the morphology is the same as the Globigerinella obesa holotype (USNM P5673), which leads us to place G. praebulloides as a junior synonym of G. obesa (Pl. 6.8, Figs. 4-6). Blow and Banner (1962) erected a subspecies of G. praebulloides, G. praebulloides leroyi and they placed in synonymy with it one of Subbotina’s illustrations of G. officinalis (pl. 11, figs. 4 a-c), which is where it stayed in Olsson and others’ (2006) treatment of the group in the Atlas of Eocene Planktonic Foraminifera (p. 114, pl. 6.1, figs. 13-15). Blow and Banner (1962) subsequently described examples of G. praebulloides from the Oligocene (Zone O3) of Tanzania (their pl. IX, figs. O-Q), which we would now also place in G. officinalis. The outcome of this taxonomic tangle is that G. praebulloides, which turns out to be Globigerinella obesa, cannot be ancestral to G. bulloides, while G. officinalis, giving rise to G. archaeobulloides n. sp., provides a parsimonious ancestral pathway.

[Spezzaferri et al. 2018]

Catalog entries: Globigerina officinalis, Globigerina praebulloides leroyi

Type images:

Distinguishing features: Small, chambers globular, slightly embracing; aperture moderately high-arched with a thickened rim; bulloides-type wall texture.

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.


Diagnostic characters:

The species is characterized by its globular, slightly embracing, chambers with a moderately high arched, umbilical aperture bordered by a thickened imperforate rim, and its bulloides-type wall texture (Olsson and others, 2006). It differs from G. archaeobulloides by the more compact test and less strongly developed bulloides-type wall. It differs from compact species of Globoturborotalita and Subbotina due to the possession of the wall with discrete spine collars and lack of a cancellate wall.

[Spezzaferri et al. 2018]

Wall type: Perforate and spinose, bulloides-type wall structure. Pore concentrations average 77 pores/50 μm2 test surface area and pore diameters average 0.84 μm. [Spezzaferri et al. 2018]

Test morphology: Test moderately high trochospiral consisting of 3 whorls, lobulate in outline, chambers globular; in spiral view 4 globular, slightly embracing chambers in ultimate whorl, increasing rapidly in size, sutures moderately depressed, straight, the last 4 chambers make up about 3/5 of the test size; in umbilical view 4 globular, slightly embracing chambers, increasing rapidly in size, sutures moderately depressed, straight, umbilicus small, open, enclosed by surrounding chambers, aperture umbilical, a low to high arch bordered by an imperforate rim; in edge view chambers globular in shape, slightly embracing (Olsson and others, 2006). [Spezzaferri et al. 2018]

Size: Maximum diameters of holotype 0.14-0.20 mm, thickness 0.11 mm. [Spezzaferri et al. 2018]

Character matrix

test outline:Lobatechamber arrangement:Trochospiraledge view:Equally biconvexaperture:Umbilical
sp chamber shape:Globularcoiling axis:Lowperiphery:N/Aaperture border:Thin lip
umb chbr shape:Globularumbilicus:Narrowperiph margin shape:Broadly roundedaccessory apertures:None
spiral sutures:Moderately depressedumb depth:Deepwall texture:Spinoseshell porosity:Finely Perforate: 1-2.5µm
umbilical or test sutures:Moderately depressedfinal-whorl chambers:3.5-4.0 N.B. These characters are used for advanced search. N/A - not applicable

Biogeography and Palaeobiology

Geographic distribution: Distributed in low to mid-latitudes. [Spezzaferri et al. 2018]

Isotope paleobiology: Pearson and others (2001) have recorded for G. officinalis relatively negative δ18O and positive δ13C, which suggest a shallow water habitat. [Spezzaferri et al. 2018]

Phylogenetic relations: The origin of Globigerina officinalis is uncertain, but see discussion above [probably S. roesnaesensis or S. crociapertura]. It appeared around middle Eocene Zone E10 and is transitional to Globigerina archaeobulloides n. sp., which appeared with a fully developed bulloides-type wall texture in early Oligocene Zone O1. [Spezzaferri et al. 2018]
Probably evolved from Subbotina roesnaesensis n. sp. in the middle Eocene. It gave rise to Globigerina praebulloides in the early Oligocene. [Olsson et al. 2006]

Most likely ancestor: Subbotina roesnaesensis - at confidence level 2 (out of 5). Data source: Olsson et al. 2006, p.115..
Likely descendants: Globigerina archaeobulloides;

Biostratigraphic distribution

Geological Range:
Notes: Zone E10? (Olsson and others, 2006) to lower Miocene, lower part of Zone M2 (Spezzaferri, 1994). [Spezzaferri et al. 2018]
Last occurrence (top): within M2 zone (19.30-21.12Ma, top in Burdigalian stage). Data source: Spezzaferri et al. 2018
First occurrence (base): within E10 zone (41.89-43.23Ma, base in Lutetian stage). Data source: Olsson et al 2006

Plot of occurrence data:

Primary source for this page: Spezzaferri et al. 2018 - Olig Atlas chap.6 p.186; Olsson et al. 2006 - Eocene Atlas, chap. 6, p. 114


Blow, W. H. & Banner, F. T. (1962). The mid-Tertiary (Upper Eocene to Aquitanian) Globigerinaceae. In, Eames, F. E. , Banner, F. T. , Blow, W. H. & Clarke, W. J. (eds) Fundamentals of mid-Tertiary Stratigraphical Correlation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 61-151. gs :: ::

Blow, W. H. (1959). Age, correlation, and biostratigraphy of the upper Tocuyo (San Lorenzo) and Pozon Formations, eastern Falcon, Venezuela. Bulletins of American Paleontology. 39(178): 67-251. gs :: ::

Blow, W. H. (1969). Late middle Eocene to Recent planktonic foraminiferal biostratigraphy. In, Bronnimann, P. & Renz, H. H. (eds) Proceedings of the First International Conference on Planktonic Microfossils, Geneva, 1967. E J Brill, Leiden 380-381. gs :: ::

Blow, W. H. (1979). The Cainozoic Globigerinida: A study of the morphology, taxonomy, evolutionary relationships and stratigraphical distribution of some Globigerinida (mainly Globigerinacea). E. J. Brill, Leiden. 2: 1-1413. gs :: ::

Olsson, R. K., Hemleben, C., Huber, B. T. & Berggren, W. A. (2006b). Taxonomy, biostratigraphy, and phylogeny of Eocene Globigerina, Globoturborotalita, Subbotina, and Turborotalita. In, Pearson, P. N. , Olsson, R. K. , Hemleben, C. , Huber, B. T. & Berggren, W. A. (eds) Atlas of Eocene Planktonic Foraminifera. Cushman Foundation for Foraminiferal Research, Special Publication. 41(Chap 6): 111-168. gs :: ::

Pearson, P. N. & Wade, B. S. (2015). Systematic taxonomy of exceptionally well-preserved planktonic foraminifera from the Eocene/Oligocene boundary of Tanzania. Cushman Foundation for Foraminiferal Research, Special Publication. 45: 1-85. gs :: ::

Pearson, P. N. et al. (2001a). Warm tropical sea surface temperatures in the Late Cretaceous and Eocene epochs. Nature. 413: 481-487. gs :: ::

Poag, C. W. & Commeau, J. A. (1995). Paleocene to middle Miocene planktic foraminifera of the southwestern Salisbury Embayment, Virginia and Maryland: Biostratigraphy, allostratigraphy, and sequence stratigraphy. Journal of Foraminiferal Research. 25: 134-155. gs :: ::

Spezzaferri, S. & Premoli Silva, I. (1991). Oligocene planktonic foraminiferal biostratigraphy and paleoclimatic interpretation from Hole 538A, DSDP Leg 77, Gulf of Mexico. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 83: 217-263. gs :: ::

Spezzaferri, S. (1994). Planktonic foraminiferal biostratigraphy and taxonomy of the Oligocene and lower Miocene in the oceanic record. An overview. Palaeontographia Italica. 81: 1-187. gs :: ::

Spezzaferri, S., Coxall, H. K., Olsson, R. K. & Hemleben, C. (2018a). Taxonomy, biostratigraphy, and phylogeny of Oligocene Globigerina, Globigerinella, and Quiltyella n. gen. In, Wade, B. S. , Olsson, R. K. , Pearson, P. N. , Huber, B. T. & Berggren, W. A. (eds) Atlas of Oligocene Planktonic Foraminifera. Cushman Foundation for Foraminiferal Research, Special Publication. 46(Chap 6): 179-214. gs :: ::

Subbotina, N. N. (1953). Foraminiferes fossiles d'URSS Globigerinidae, Globorotaliidae, Hantkeninidae. Bureau de Recherches Geologiques et Minieres. 2239: 1-144. gs :: ::

Szekely, S. -F. & Filipescu, S. (2016). Biostratigraphy and paleoenvironments of the Late Oligocene in the north-western Transylvanian Basin revealed by the foraminifera assemblages. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 449: 484-509. gs :: ::


Globigerina officinalis compiled by the pforams@mikrotax project team viewed: 4-6-2020

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Comments (1)

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Paul Connell

The quoted size of the test in the description and the character matrix is incorrect. Olsson et al (2006) repeat the dimensions of the holotype as stated by Subbotina in 1953/1971. On page 114 of the Eocene Atlas....holotype 0.20 mm, thickness 0.11 mm. Using the scale bars (given as 40 microns) on plate 6.1 shows that the illustrations in the Atlas are consistent with the dimensions given by Subbotina and Olsson. This is a small species and does not appear on the standard 250 micron sieve.

Jeremy Young (UK)

Thanks Paul. As you say that was clearly an error and I have corrected it now. Please do point out any errors like this you spot.


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