Nannotax3 - ntax_cenozoic - Canistrolithus valliformis Nannotax3 - ntax_cenozoic - Canistrolithus valliformis

Canistrolithus valliformis

Classification: ntax_cenozoic -> Coccolith families inc sed -> Alisphaeraceae -> Canistrolithus -> Canistrolithus valliformis
Sister taxa: C. valliformis, C. sp.


Citation: Canistrolithus valliformis Jordan & Chamberlain, 1993
taxonomic rank: Species
Variants: The type specimen of C. valliformis has a row of peg-like nodules around the central opening, many other specimens lack this and they have been distinguished as Canistrolithus sp. 1 by Cros & Fortuño (2002). However, this variation is likely to be a case of degree of calcification variation and seems tenuous evidence for discrimination of a separate species.

Distinguishing features:
Parent taxon (Canistrolithus): Coccoliths elongate oblong muroliths with asymmetric distal flange
This taxon: Typical form - with peg-like nodes around the central area

Farinacci & Howe catalog pages: C. valliformis *


Dimorphic - some coccoliths have distally directed spine on one side of coccolith. Central area open.

Biology & life-cycles

Combination coccospheres with “Polycrater” coccoliths observed, by Cros & Fortuno (2002).

See also: Canistrolithus valliformis POL - alternate life-cycle phase;

Search data:
LITHS: murolith, asymmetric, elliptical,
CSPH: elongated, monomorphic, CROSS-POLARS: V-prominent,
Lith size: 2.2->3.5µm; Liths per sphere: 150->250
Data source notes: lith length from OD and slightly extended; lith numbers from Yang & Wei 2003, range inferred from single estimate
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: present in the plankton (Young et al. 2003)
First occurrence (base): within No known fossil record modern (0.00-0.00Ma, base in "Holocene" stage). Data source: Young et al. 2003

Plot of occurrence data:


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

Jordan, R. W. & Chamberlain, A. H. L. (1993). Canistrolithus valliformis gen. et sp. nov. (Syracosphaeraceae, Prymnesiophyta), a comparison with the genus Alisphaera. Phycologia. 32(5): 373-378. gs

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. S1: 1-132. gs


Canistrolithus valliformis compiled by Jeremy R. Young, Paul R. Bown, Jacqueline A. Lees viewed: 1-3-2024

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

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