Tenuitella munda

Classification: pf_cenozoic -> Globigerinitidae -> Tenuitella -> Tenuitella munda
Sister taxa: T. iota, T. fleisheri, T. parkerae, T. clemenciae, T. angustiumbilicata, T. munda, T. gemma, T. praegemma, T. patefacta, T. insolita, T. sp.,


Citation: Tenuitella munda (Jenkins 1966)
Rank: Species
Basionym: Globorotalia munda Jenkins 1966
Taxonomic discussion:

Prior to its formal description in 1965, specimens that are probably referable to this common species were described under a variety of names or in open nomenclature (see, for example, the synonymy list given by Berggren, 1969). Berggren (1969) compared topotypes of Jenkin’s taxon to specimens from classic Chattian and Rupelian sites in Europe, confirming their identity. Jenkins (1965:1121) originally placed his species in the form-genus Globorotalia and described the wall as “finely perforate”. Fleisher (1974:1033) suggested that it ought to be placed in his new genus Tenuitella “on the basis of published descriptions”. The microperforate wall is confimed here with new illustrations of the holotype by SEM (Plate 16.6, Figs. 1-3). Li (1987) included it in his review of microperforate planktonic foraminifera and it appears to have enjoyed a relatively stable taxonomic concept since then.

Blow (1979) proposed that Globorotalia clemenciae Bermúdez, 1961, a Miocene taxon, was a senior synonym of munda. Kennett and Srinivasan (1983) separated the taxa on the grounds that T. clemenciae is larger and has five chambers in the final whorl, and a more flattened lip (although the holotype actually has four chambers in the final whorl). Li (1987) separated the forms based on the more strongly inflated chambers in munda, a distinction that was followed by Spezzaferri (1994), and both of those authors illustrated specimens from the Oligocene. However the fine distinction in chamber inflation is not obvious from the published illustrations and seems to be part of the natural variability of the populations. We have obtained new SEM illustrations of the holotype of Globorotalia clemenciae Bermúdez (not shown) and suggest that it is a likely senior synonym of Mutabella mirabilis Pearson and others, 2001, as it is a relatively large form and shows the fused teeth common in that species. Further investigation of the type material may be required to confirm this. We do not, however, recommend the use of the name clemenciae for the sake of nomenclatorial stability, as it has been used quite frequently in the literature for munda-like tenuitellids and never for forms like Mutabella mirabilis.

We note that the Eocene and lowermost Oligocene specimens from the Kerguelen Plateau are unusual in commonly possessing an irregular apertural lip, or flange (see Plate 16.6, Figs. 14, 15). These forms show transitional features to T. gemma and may ultimately prove distinct. [Pearson et al. 2018]

Catalog entries: Globorotalia munda

Type images:

Distinguishing features: Very small, low trochospiral, lobate, 4-4½ chambers in final whorl, sutures depressed. Surface fairly smooth with fine pustules; umbilicus narrow; aperture low arch with thin 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.


Diagnostic characters:

Distinguished from Tenuitella gemma by having fewer, more inflated chambers in the final whorl. Distinguished from T. angustiumbilicata by its more rapidly expanding chambers and fewer chambers in the final whorl, and also by the less pustulose test surface. Tenuitella angustiumbilicata also tends to have a more umbilical aperture, although it is not a constant feature.Distinguished from Globigerinita glutinata by the intra-extraumbilical aperture and by typically having four, rather than 3½, chambers in the final whorl. Forms intermediate between the two are common and the apertural position is used to distinguish them. [Pearson et al. 2018]

Wall type: Microperforate glutinata-type wall, surface smooth to finely pustulose, pustules irregularly scattered on both sides of test. [Pearson et al. 2018]

Test morphology: Test small, very low trochospiral, equatorial periphery lobate, subquadrate in outline, axial periphery rounded; chambers globular and inflated, 4 in the final whorl (occasionally 3½), 10-14 comprising adult tests, increasing rapidly in size; sutures straight to slightly recurved, incised on spiral and depressed on umbilical side; umbilicus narrow, deep; aperture an irregular arch bordered by a prominent lip of constant thickness (in most cases), interiomarginal, intra- to extraumbilical in position. [Pearson et al. 2018]

Size: Holotype 0.22 mm diameter. [Pearson et al. 2018]

Character matrix

test outline:Subquadratechamber arrangement:Trochospiraledge view:Equally biconvexaperture:Extraumbilical-peripheral
sp chamber shape:Inflatedcoiling axis:Lowperiphery:N/Aaperture border:Thin lip
umb chbr shape:Inflatedumbilicus:Wideperiph margin shape:Broadly roundedaccessory apertures:None
spiral sutures:Moderately depressedumb depth:Shallowwall texture:Finely pustuloseshell porosity:Microperforate: <1µm
umbilical or test sutures:Moderately depressedfinal-whorl chambers:4.0-4.5 N.B. These characters are used for advanced search. N/A - not applicable

Biogeography and Palaeobiology

Geographic distribution: Global, most abundant in the mid- to high latitudes in both hemispheres. [Pearson et al. 2018]. Temperate [Kennett & Srinivasan 1983]

Isotope paleobiology: Lived near the sea surface (Majewski, 2003), or perhaps slightly subsurface compared with other small species (Pearson and Wade, 2009). [Pearson et al. 2018]

Phylogenetic relations: Li (1987) suggested that Tenuitella munda evolved from T. gemma, with which it shares the same wall texture. Huber (1991) illustrated a specimen from the uppermost Eocene of ODP Hole 738A (which is on the southern tip of the Kerguelen Plateau), raising the possibility that the evolution of munda could have occurred in the high southern latitudes in the late Eocene. We have re-studied the upper Eocene of Sites 738 and 744 and confirm that munda is present in the Eocene alongside Tenuitella gemma and Globigerinatheka index, but without Tenuitella angustiumbilicata, which apparently evolved later (see Pl. 16.6, Figs. 14-16). Tenuitella munda was ancestral to Globigerinita glutinata and several authors have described transitional forms (see discussion under that species). It was probably also ancestral to Tenuitella angustiumbilicata but transitional populations have yet to be identified. [Pearson et al. 2018]

Gr. (Te.) munda developed from Gr. (Te.) gemma in the early Oligocene and is ancestral to Gr. (Te.) clemenciae Bermudez. [Kennett & Srinivasan 1983]

Similar species:

Most likely ancestor: Tenuitella gemma - at confidence level 4 (out of 5). Data source: Kennett & Srinivasan 1983; Li 1987; Pearson et al. 2018.
Likely descendants: Globigerinita glutinata; Tenuitella angustiumbilicata; Tenuitella clemenciae;

Biostratigraphic distribution

Geological Range:
Notes: Li (1987) recorded a first occurrence for this species in Zone O1. We have confirmed its presence in the upper Eocene (see discussion above). Premoli Silva and Boersma (1988) recorded it as low as uppermost middle Eocene Zone P14 but we have not confirmed that (see also Huber and others, 2006). According to Li (1987), it persists to upper part of lower Miocene Zone M3. More recently it has been recorded to Subzone M5a at Site U1338 in the equatorial Pacific Ocean (Pälike and others, 2010). Blow (1979) records it as high as the upper Miocene but renewed study would be needed to confirm this. [Pearson et al. 2018]
Last occurrence (top): in lower part of M2 zone (19% up, 20.8Ma, in Burdigalian stage). Data source: Wade et al. (2011), additional event; position within zone determined by linear interpolation from data in table 1 of Wade et al. (2011).
First occurrence (base): within E16 zone (33.90-34.68Ma, base in Priabonian stage). Data source: Pearson et al. 2018 f16.1

Plot of occurrence data:

Primary source for this page: Pearson et al. 2018 - Olig Atlas chap.16 p.451; Kennett & Srinivasan 1983, p.162


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Tenuitella munda compiled by the pforams@mikrotax project team viewed: 29-9-2020

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