Sphenolithus pseudoradians

Classification: ntax_cenozoic -> Discoasterales -> Sphenolithaceae -> Sphenolithus -> S. radians group -> Sphenolithus pseudoradians
Sister taxa: S. arthurii, S. orphanknollensis, S. pseudoradians, S. radians, S. richteri, S. runus, S. spiniger


Citation: Sphenolithus pseudoradians Bramlette & Wilcoxon, 1967
Rank: Species
Taxonomic discussion: The first occurrence of S. pseudoradians marks the base of zone NP20 (Martini 1971), however the application of this event is problematic due to the difficulties in reliably distinguishing between S. radians and S. pseudoradians.

Distinguishing features: Medium to large sphenolith with a tall compound spine. Distinguished from Sphenolithus radians by its larger size, more irregular outline and apical cycles that extend laterally beyond the base of the apical spine.

Farinacci & Howe catalog pages: S. pseudoradians *

Morphology: According to Bergen et al. 2017 "this species is easily distinguished by apparent thickening along the median axis of its apical spine."

Search data:
TagsLITHS: nannolith-radiate, circular, cylindrical, CA: process, CROSS-POLARS: V-prominent, R-prominent,
MetricsLith size: 10->20µm;
Data source notes: lith height from illustrated specs
The morphological data given here can be used on the advanced search page. See also these notes

Geological Range:
Notes: The base of S. pseudoradians was used as the zonal marker for the NP19/20 boundary but the species ranges much lower so typically the zones are combined - as NP19/20 - (see Perch-Nielsen 1985).
Bergen et al. (2017) suggest a range of NP18-24
Last occurrence (top): within NP24 zone (26.84-29.62Ma, top in Chattian stage). Data source: Perch-Nielsen 1985
First occurrence (base): within NP15 zone (42.87-46.29Ma, base in Lutetian stage). Data source: Perch-Nielsen 1985

Plot of occurrence data:


Bergen, J. A., de Kaenel, E., Blair, S. A., Boesiger, T. M. & Browning, E. (2017). Oligocene-Pliocene taxonomy and stratigraphy of the genus Sphenolithus in the circum North Atlantic Basin: Gulf of Mexico and ODP Leg 154. Journal of Nannoplankton Research. 37(2-3): 77-112. gs V O

Bown, P. R. & Dunkley Jones, T. (2012). Calcareous nannofossils from the Paleogene equatorial Pacific (IODP Expedition 320 Sites U1331-1334). Journal of Nannoplankton Research. 32(2): 3-51. gs V O

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 V O

Bramlette, M. N. & Wilcoxon, J. A. (1967b). Middle Tertiary calcareous nannoplankton of the Cipero section, Trinidad, W.I. Tulane Studies in Geology and Paleontology. 5: 93-131. gs V O

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

Fioroni, C., Villa, G., Persico, D. & Jovane, L. (2015). Middle Eocene-Lower Oligocene calcareous nannofossil biostratigraphy and paleoceanographic implications from Site 711 (equatorial Indian Ocean). Marine Micropaleontology. 118: 50-62. gs

Jones, A. P. & Dunkley Jones, T. (2020). Middle Eocene to Early Oligocene calcareous nannofossils from the Nanggulan Formation, Java, Indonesia. Journal of Nannoplankton Research. 30(1): 57-79. gs V O

Müller, C. (1974b). Calcareous nannoplankton, Leg 25 (Western Indian Ocean). Initial Reports of the Deep Sea Drilling Project. 25: 579-633. gs V O

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

Shamrock, J. L. & Watkins, D. K. (2012). Eocene calcareous nannofossil biostratigraphy and community structure from Exmouth Plateau, Eastern Indian Ocean (ODP Site 762). Stratigraphy. 9(1): 1-11. gs


Sphenolithus pseudoradians compiled by Jeremy R. Young, Paul R. Bown, Jacqueline A. Lees viewed: 15-4-2021

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Short stable page link: https://mikrotax.org/Nannotax3/index.php?id=1316 Go to Archive.is to create a permanent copy of this page - citation notes

Comments (1)

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Simon Cole (UK)
Like my comment just now about H. compacta; again, I don't believe this species goes to the top of NP24 (and therefore not to 26.84Ma). P-N, 1985 dashes to NP24 so I don't think we should be referencing that as the source of the date for the LO of this species without a question-mark at least.
Because I have found the same issue for H. compacta and S. pseudoradians in the last few minutes, it makes me wonder whether there are many other 'mis-referenced' ranges within Nannotax and could this be a wider issue? Due to the success of Nannotax (I for one love it!), I know many people are using it as the 'be all and end all' for ranges of taxa (amongst other things) so we need to ensure that either the ranges are correct and that we reference the ranges accurately. I think it is ok to quote say 'NP24' if the species tops within that zone but having an absolute age next to it signifying the species goes to the top of that zone, may not always be correct.
Jeremy Young (UCL, UK)
Hi Simon
Yes it is a good point - the age ranges in nannotax are not heavily researched data from the literature and they are stored in whatever units the original sources used - eg NN zones or Cretaceous stages - the conversion of these to Ma ages is just for convenience but I think people are bit liable to misinterpret them.
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