Syracosphaera molischii

Classification: ntax_cenozoic -> Syracosphaerales -> Syracosphaeraceae -> Syracosphaera -> SY molischii gp -> molischii type -> Syracosphaera molischii
Sister taxa: S. andruleitii, S. molischii, S. hastata, S. marginiporata, S. ossa, S. epigrosa

Daughter taxa (time control age-window is: 0-800Ma)
Syracosphaera molischii type 1
Outer part of distal flange with low ridges, inner part fewer high ridges.
Syracosphaera molischii type 2
Outer part of distal flange with low ridges, inner part formed of tooth-like projections
Syracosphaera molischii type 3
Outer part of distal flange with low ridges, inner part smooth
Syracosphaera molischii type 4
Outer part of flange smooth, inner part formed of tooth-like projections.


Citation: Syracosphaera molischii Schiller, 1925
Rank: Species
Basionym: Syracosphaera molischi Schiller, 1925
Synonyms: S. corrugis Okada & McIntyre 1977 and S. elatensis Winter in Winter et al. 1979 see Heimdal & Gaarder (1981), Kleijne (1993).
Variants: S. molischii shows very variable ornamentation and four types were distinguished by Young et al (2003) based on distal flange ornamentation. Possibly these are discrete species, in which case the names S. elatensis and S. corrugis should be reinstated. It should be noted, however, that other aspects of morphology (e.g. central area ornamentation, XC ornament) seem to show independent variation.

Distinguishing features: BCs robust, rim wide, ornamented

Farinacci & Howe catalog pages: S. molischi * , S. corrugis * , S. elatensis *

BCs - large (2-4 µm), distal flange broad; variably ornamented - usually heavily ribbed, sometimes with teeth protruding into central area; tube low; proximal flange, narrow, smooth. Laths broad with weak axial ridge. Central structure - irregular ridge and/or ring formed by growth upward from the laths.
CFCs - with prominent spine, smaller and less ornamented than BCs.
AAC - one BC type coccolith with a stubby spine often occurs near the antapical pole.
XCs - large; flange ribbed on distal side, expands clockwise into wing (directed apically) about twice as wide as rest of flange. One or two nodes usually present near centre of the proximal surface.

Biology & life-cycles: HOL = "Anthosphaera fragaria", see Cros et al. (2000). This association was based initially on a single specimen and so was not considered proven. Triantaphyllou et al. (2016), and Skejic et al. (2018) however, have documented further specimens and established the association.

See also: Syracosphaera molischii HOL ;

Search data:
TagsLITHS: murolith, placolith, SHAPE: elliptical, CA: ca_disjunct, grill, plate, process,
CSPH: equant, CFC, XC, CROSS-POLARS: R-prominent, T-prominent,
MetricsLith size: 1.5->3.5µm; Coccosphere size: 6->9µm; Liths per sphere: 25->70
Data source notes: lith length (BCs) from ODs & illustrated specimens; csph data from Cros & Fortuño 2003; 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:
Last occurrence (top): Extant Data source: present in the plankton (Young et al. 2003)
First occurrence (base): within Quaternary Period (0.00-2.59Ma, base in Gelasian stage). Data source: [JRY rough estimate]

Plot of occurrence data:


Cros, L., Kleijne, A., Zeltner, A., Billard, C. & Young, J. R. (2000b). New examples of holococcolith-heterococcolith combination coccospheres and their implications for coccolithophorid biology. In, Young, J. R., Thierstein, H. R. & Winter, A. (eds) Nannoplankton ecology and palaeocology, Proceedings of the INA7 conference, Puerto Rico, February 2002. Marine Micropaleontology. 39(1-4): 1-34. 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

Kleijne, A. (1993b). Morphology, Taxonomy and distribution of extant coccolithophorids (Calcareous nannoplankton). Drukkerij FEBO B.V., Katwijk. 1-321. gs

Okada, H. & McIntyre, A. (1977). Modern coccolithophores of the Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans. Micropaleontology. 23(1): 1-55. gs

Schiller, J. (1925). Die planktonischen Vegetationen des adriatischen Meeres. A. Die Coccolithophoriden-Vegetation in den Jahren 1911-14. Archiv für Protistenkunde. 51: 1-130. gs V O

Skejic, S. et al. (2018). Coccolithophore diversity in open waters of the middle Adriatic Sea in pre- T and post-winter periods. Marine Micropaleontology. 143(1): 30-45. gs

Triantaphyllou, M. et al. (2016). Coccolithophore combination coccospheres from the NE Mediterranean Sea: new evidence and taxonomic revisions. Micropaleontology. 61(6): 457-472. gs

Winter, A., Reiss, Z. & Luz, B. (1979). Distribution of living coccolithophore assemblages in the Gulf of Elat ('Aqaba). Marine Micropaleontology. 4: 197-223. 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 V O


Syracosphaera molischii compiled by Jeremy R. Young, Paul R. Bown, Jacqueline A. Lees viewed: 15-6-2021

Taxon Search:
Advanced Search

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

Comments (0)

No comments yet on this page. Please do add comments if you spot any problems, or have information to share

Add Comment

* Required information
Captcha Image
Powered by Commentics