Nannotax3 - ntax_cenozoic - Calciosolenia Nannotax3 - ntax_cenozoic - Calciosolenia


Classification: ntax_cenozoic -> Syracosphaerales -> Calciosoleniaceae -> Calciosolenia
Sister taxa: Calciosolenia

Daughter taxa (time control age-window is: 0-800Ma)
extant species
Calciosolenia brasiliensis
Coccosphere without spines; coccoliths >5µm long
Calciosolenia corsellii
Coccosphere without spines; coccoliths 3-4µm long, with spurs at the ends
Calciosolenia murrayi
Dimorphic - terminal coccoliths have one end extended into spine; coccoliths 2.5-4 µm long, often with overlapping laths
fossil species
Calciosolenia alternans
Small Calciosolenia with a relatively broad central-area filled by a plate-like structure that displays a four-fold, alternating light-dark birefringence image.
Calciosolenia aperta
Broad, rhomboidal scapholith with broad flaring rim and central area spanned by transverse bars and thick, distal longitudinal bar.
Calciosolenia sp.
Calciosolenia specimens which cannot be assigned to established species


Citation: Calciosolenia Gran, 1912
taxonomic rank: Genus
Type species: Calciosolenia murrayi Gran 1912
Synonyms: NB The monomorphic species C. brasiliensis has often been placed in a separate genus, Anoplosolenia, leaving the dimorphic species C. murrayi in Calciosolenia. Following Young et al. (2003) we prefer to include both species in a single genus, since the coccolith structure of the two species is identical and their affinity is not in dispute. Including the two species in one genus makes this affinity clearer, reduces the number of monospecific genera, and avoids the problem of having generic concepts which cannot be applied to isolated coccoliths in the fossil record. As a result, the artificial genus Scapholithus, which has often been used by palaeontologists for isolated scapholiths, is redundant, all such specimens can be included in Calciosolenia.

Since fossil specimens cannot usually be confidently assigned to either C. murrayi or C. brasiliensis the best identification is usually Calciosolenia sp.

Distinguishing features:
Parent taxon (Calciosoleniaceae): Narrow-rimmed muroliths with central-lath structures but no axial structure. Often strongly varimorphic
This taxon: Coccosphere with rhombic muroliths with central area floored by transverse laths (scapholiths); varimorphic or dimorphic.

Farinacci & Howe catalog pages: Calciosolenia * , Acanthosolenia * , Anoplosolenia * , Scapholithus *


Coccolith structure and optics discussed in Bown et al. 2017

Coccolith size typically small (2-5 µm) exceptionally up to 7 µm.  Some size variation depending on position on coccosphere but within species the size of the main body coccoliths seems to be a useful taxonomic criterion (see Malinverno 2004).

See also: Calciosolenia - also occurs in the Mesozoic;

Search data:
LITHS: murolith, quadrate, CA: ca_disjunct, grill, CROSS-POLARS: rim-bicyclic, R-prominent,
Lith size: 2->7µm; Coccosphere size: 20->95µm;
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: Total of ranges of the species in this database
First occurrence (base): within Paleocene Epoch (55.96-66.04Ma, base in Danian stage). Data source: Total of ranges of species in this database

Plot of occurrence data:


Bernard, F. (1939). Coccolithophorides nouveaux ou peu connus observes à Monaco en 1938. Archives de Zoologie Expérimentale et Générale, Paris. 81: 33-44. gs

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

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

Deflandre, G. (1952). Classe des Coccolithophoridés. (Coccolithophoridae. Lohmann, 1902). In, Grassé, P. P. (ed.) Traité de Zoologie. Masson, Paris 439-470. gs

Gran, H. H. (1912). Pelagic plant life. In, Murray, J. & Hjort, J. (eds) The Depths of the Ocean. Macmillan, London 307-386. gs

Malinverno, E. (2004). Morphological variability within the genus Calciosolenia (coccolithophorids) from the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Micropaleontology. 50(supl. 1): 81-91. 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. S1: 1-132. gs


Calciosolenia compiled by Jeremy R. Young, Paul R. Bown, Jacqueline A. Lees viewed: 25-7-2024

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Short stable page link: Go to to create a permanent copy of this page - citation notes

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Comments (2)

Rui da Gama(Malaysia)

There seems to be an issue with the Calciosolenia page in nannotax. It appears there are two alternative pages for this genus. In one, it looks like C. fossilis, C. huberi, C. sp. are not included as taxa (see page herein). In the other, the former taxa are included but C. alternans, C. aperta, C. brasiliensis, C. corsellii, C. murrayi, C. sp. are not represented.

Jeremy Young(UK)

Hi Rui

Yes, that is because there are separate pages for the Mesozoic and Cenozoic. For a lot of reasons it was easier to build separate databases for the two time periods, but it does get a little awkward with the few taxa that occur in both time periods.