Gladiolithus flabellatus

Classification: Coccolithophores -> Coccolith families inc sed -> Coccolith genera inc sed -> Gladiolithus -> Gladiolithus flabellatus
Sister taxa: G. flabellatus, G. striatus, G. adeyi, G. brevis, G. contus, G. ornatus, G. sp.,


Citation: Gladiolithus flabellatus (Halldal & Markali 1955) Jordan & Chamberlain, 1993
Rank: Species
Basionym: Thorosphaera flabellata Halldal & Markali 1955
Notes & discussion: The original combination in Thorosphaera was based on analogy with Thorosphaera elegans Ostenfeld 1910 but Jordan & Chamberlain (1992) showed that whilst it is difficult to determine what Ostenfeld was describing it clearly was much too large to be this taxon and so they described the new genus Gladiolithus.

Distinguishing features: Tube coccoliths elongate (5-10 µm), smooth or pitted

Farinacci & Howe catalog pages: Thorosphaera flabellata * , Thorosphaera elegans *

Morphology remarks: Typical species of Gladiolithus, with flaring slightly curved tube-coccoliths lacking any strong ornament. The concave side of the coccoliths is directed toward the inner side of the coccosphere and the convex side outward.

Ecology & Biogeography: Deep photic - sub-themocline to base of the photic zone, up to 200m deep in the centre of olgotrophic gyres. Distribution is similar to Florisphaera profunda but slightly deeper.

Search data:
TagsLITHS: murolith, nannolith-other, elliptical, cylindrical, hollow, RIM: outer wall non-imbricate, CA: plate, PROCESS: hollow,
CSPH: bowl-shaped, equant, AAC, AAC-planolith, polymorphic, V-UNITS: all, rim, V-prominent, R-UNITS: none, DETAILS: ca_disjunct, rim-unicyclic,
MetricsLith size: 5->10µm; Coccosphere size: 8->15µm; Liths per sphere: 20->120
Sources: csph & lith length from illustrated specimens; lith numbers from Yang & Wei 2003, range of estimates
The morphological data given here can be used on the advanced search page. See also these notes

Geological Range:
Notes: There have been few records of fossil G. flagellates in the literature, but it has recently been shown to be abundant in Eocene sediments from Tanzania (Bown et al. 2009, Bown 2016). It can also be found in well-preserved Neogene sediments as illustrated by specimens shown here.
Last occurrence (top): Extant Data source: present in the plankton (Young et al. 2003)
First occurrence (base): within NP5 zone (59.54-61.51Ma, base in Selandian stage). Data source: Bown 2016

Plot of occurrence data:

  • Histogram - Neptune occurrence data from DSDP and ODP proceedings. Pale shading <50 samples in time bin. Interpret with caution & read these notes
  • Note to users in China - the diagram may not plot unless you use a VPN since I use google services on the website. If this is a problem please contact me 谢谢.
  • Taxon plotted: Gladiolithus flabellatus, synonyms included - Thorosphaera flabellata; Gladiolithus flabellatus;
  • space-time plot :: Samples map :: Parent: Gladiolithus


    Bown, P. R. (2010). Calcareous nannofossils from the Paleocene/Eocene Thermal Maximum interval of southern Tanzania (TDP Site 14). Journal of Nannoplankton Research. 31(1): 11-38. gs :: view :: open

    Bown, P. R. (2016). Paleocene calcareous nannofossils from Tanzania (TDP sites 19, 27 and 38). Journal of Nannoplankton Research. 36(1): 1-32. gs :: view :: open

    Bown, P. R., Young, J. R., Dunkley Jones, T. & Randell, R. (2009). A Paleogene record of extant lower photic zone calcareous nannoplankton. Palaeontology. 52(2): 457-469. gs :: ::

    Bown, P. R., Gibbs, S. J., Sheward, R., O’Dea, S. & Higgins, D. (2014). Searching for cells: the potential of fossil coccospheres in coccolithophore research. Journal of Nannoplankton Research. 34(special): 5-21. gs :: view :: open

    Bown, P. R., Lees, J. A. & Young, J. R. (2017). On the Cretaceous origin of the Order Syracosphaerales and the genus Syracosphaera. Journal of Micropalaeontology. 36(2): 153-165. gs :: view :: open

    Cros, L. & Fortuño, J. -M. (2002). Atlas of northwestern Mediterranean coccolithophores. Scientia Marina. 66: 1-186. 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 :: ::

    Halldal, P. & Markali, J. (1955). Electron microscope studies on coccolithophorids from the Norwegian Sea, the Gulf Stream and the Mediterranean. Avhandlinger utgitt av det Norske Videnskapsakademi i Oslo. Matematisk-Naturvidenskapelig Klasse. 1955(1): 1-30. gs :: ::

    Heimdal, B. R. & Gaarder, K. R. (1981). Coccolithophorids from the northern part of the eastern central Atlantic II. Heterococcolithophorids. “Meteor” Forschungsergebnisse, Reihe D, Biologie. 33: 37-69. gs :: ::

    Jordan, R. W. & Chamberlain, A. H. L. (1992). Vexillarius cancellifer gen. et sp. nov., and its possible affinities with other living coccolithophorids. In, Hamrsmid, B. & Young, J. R. (eds) Nannoplankton Research, Proceedings of the 4th INA Conference, Prague 1991, vol II. Knihovnicka ZPN. 14b: 305-325. gs :: view :: open

    Reid, F. M. H. (1980). Coccolithophorids of the North Pacific Central Gyre with notes on their vertical and seasonal distribution. Micropaleontology. 26(2): 151-176. 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


    Gladiolithus flabellatus compiled by Jeremy R. Young, Paul R. Bown, Jacqueline A. Lees viewed: 1-6-2020

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