Nannotax3 - ntax_cenozoic - Rhabdosphaeraceae Nannotax3 - ntax_cenozoic - Rhabdosphaeraceae


Classification: ntax_cenozoic -> Syracosphaerales -> Rhabdosphaeraceae
Sister taxa: Calciosoleniaceae, Rhabdosphaeraceae, Syracosphaeraceae

Daughter taxa (time control age-window is: 0-800Ma)Granddaughter taxa
Body coccoliths with well-developed radial lath cycle, low mound in centre; coccospheres polymorphic, usually some coccoliths with well-developed spines

Body coccoliths with well-developed radial lath cycle; domal or double-lipped protrusion; coccosphere dimorphic, CFCs larger and taller
Algirosphaera cucullata
Algirosphaera fabaceus
Algirosphaera meteora
Algirosphaera robusta
Algirosphaera sp.

Coccoliths process-bearing with complex base including outer rim, radial lath and lamellar cycles
B. morionum group
B. clavus group
B. inflatus group
B. spinosus group
B. amplus group
Blackites sp.

Body coccoliths with well-developed radial lath cycle, protrusion in centre; coccospheres varimorphic higher protrusions on circum-flagellar coccoliths
Cyrtosphaera aculeata
Cyrtosphaera cidaris
Cyrtosphaera sp.

Body coccoliths with well-developed radial lath cycle; trumpet-like process; coccospheres monomorphic
Discosphaera jerkovici
Discosphaera tubifera
Discosphaera sp.

Coccoliths without radial lath cycle; coccospheres monomorphic, all spine-bearing
Palusphaera vandelii
Palusphaera probertii
Palusphaera crosiae
Palusphaera bownii
Palusphaera sp.

Coccoliths without radial lath cycle; coccospheres dimorphic, only some spine-bearing
Rhabdosphaera clavigera
Rhabdosphaera gracilenta
Rhabdosphaera poculii
Rhabdosphaera vitrea
Rhabdosphaera xiphos
Rhabdosphaera sp.

Coccoliths without radial lath cycle; coccosphere dome-shaped, polymorphic
Solisphaera blagnacensis
Solisphaera emidasia
Solisphaera helianthiformis
Solisphaera galbula
Solisphaera turbinella
Solisphaera tegula
Solisphaera palmula
Solisphaera miocaenica
Discoturbella moori
Solisphaera sp.


Citation: Rhabdosphaeraceae Haeckel, 1894
taxonomic rank: Family

Distinguishing features:
Parent taxon (Syracosphaerales): 2N: Coccoliths with radial lath cycle of T-units, and disjunct, often complex, axial structure, coccospheres often polymorphic, usually motile
N: Form holococcoliths, highly variable

This taxon: BCs planoliths with radial lath cycle and highly-variable axial structures. Often polymorphic and/or varimorphic

Farinacci & Howe catalog pages: Rhabdosphaeraceae [no catalog entry yet]


Coccospheres: Motile or non-motile, typically with spine-bearing and non-spine-bearing coccoliths with similar shields, but polymorphic, varimorphic and monomorphic genera also occur. The spine-bearing coccoliths may be confined to the poles or distributed around the coccosphere, greatly increasing its outer diameter.
Coccoliths: Typically disc-shaped (planoliths) and formed of three components.
  1. Rim: narrow; slightly elevated; formed of two cycles of elements. A. Upper/outer rim cycle of simple non-imbricate elements (Kleijne 1992), these are V-units (our LM obs.). B. Lower/inner rim cycle showing strong obliquity. Crystallographic orientation uncertain.
  2. Radial cycle - joins rim to central lamellar cycle; radial laths, of equal number to rim units; slits often present between the laths (absent in Rhabdosphaera and Saturnulus).
  3. Lamellar cycle(s) - lamellar elements showing clockwise imbrication, often multiple cycles with inner cycles more elongate, inclined and in helical arrangement forming spine or protrusion. May end in a "cuneate cycle" of a few well-formed elements.

Biology & life-cycles

A couple of species are known to form HOL-HET combinations, only Algirosphaera robusta has been maintained in culture.

Search data:
Lith size: 1->30µm;
The morphological data given here can be used on the advanced search page. See also these notes

Geological Range:
Notes: Most extant Rhabdosphaeraceae are very small and, apart from R. clavigera, are rarely recorded in the fossil record. There is, however, a diverse and abundant group of larger Rhabdosphaeraceae in the Eocene (see also Perch-Nielsen 1985b; Varol 1989; Shafik 1989; Aubry 1999, Bown 2005).
Last occurrence (top): Extant. Data source: Total of ranges of the species in this database
First occurrence (base): within NP5 zone (59.54-61.51Ma, base in Selandian stage). Data source: Total of ranges of species in this database

Plot of occurrence data:


Aubry, M. -P. (1999). Handbook of Cenozoic calcareous nannoplankton. Book 5: Heliolithae (Zygoliths and Rhabdoliths). Micropaleontology Press, American Museum of Natural History, New York. 1-368. gs

Bown, P. R. (2005d). Palaeogene calcareous nannofossils from the Kilwa and Lindi areas of coastal Tanzania (Tanzania Drilling Project 2003-4). Journal of Nannoplankton Research. 27(1): 21-95. gs O

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 O

Haeckel, E. (1894). Systematische Phylogenie der Protisten und Pflanzen. Reimer, Berlin. -. gs

Kleijne, A. (1992). Extant Rhabdosphaeraceae (coccolithophorids, class Prymnesiophyceae) from the Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean. Scripta Geologica. 100: 1-63. gs

Perch-Nielsen, K. (1985). Cenozoic calcareous nannofossils. In, Bolli, H. M., Saunders, J. B. & Perch-Nielsen, K. (eds) Plankton Stratigraphy. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 427-555. gs

Probert, I., Fresnel, J., Billard, C., Geisen, M. & Young, J. R. (2007). Light and electron microscope observations of Algirosphaera robusta (Pymnesiophyceae). Journal of Phycology. 43: 319-332. gs

Shafik, S. (1989). Some new calcareous nannofossils from Upper Eocene and Lower Oligocene sediments in the Otway Basin, southeastern Australia. Alcheringa. 13: 69-83. gs

Varol, O. (1989b). Eocene calcareous nannofossils from Sile (northwest Turkey). Revista Española de Micropaleontología. 21: 273-320. gs


Rhabdosphaeraceae compiled by Jeremy R. Young, Paul R. Bown, Jacqueline A. Lees viewed: 17-7-2024

Taxon Search:
Advanced Search

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

Nannotax is being sponsored through 2024 by Woodside Energy and Shell USA

Add Comment

* Required information
Captcha Image
Powered by Commentics


No comments yet. Be the first!