Syracosphaera maxima

Classification: ntax_cenozoic -> Syracosphaerales -> Syracosphaeraceae -> Syracosphaera -> SY mediterranea group -> Syracosphaera maxima
Sister taxa: S. mediterranea, S. maxima, S. sp. Y


Citation: Syracosphaera maxima Halldal & Markali 1955
Rank: Species
Basionym: Syracosphaera maxima Halldal & Markali 1955
Taxonomic discussion: As discussed by Triantaphyllou et al. (2016) and Young et al. (2020) the species S. mediterranea has proven life-cycle associations with several different holococcoliths. As a result the genus Coronosphaera Gaarder 1977 is now a junior synonym of both Zygosphaera Kamptner 1936 and Syracolithus Kamptner 1941 and so can no longer be used.  So, we are reverting here to the combination Syracosphaera maxima

Distinguishing features: Like C. mediterranea but larger; BCs 4-6 µm, coccospheres 25-40 µm; CFCs more elliptical.

Farinacci & Howe catalog pages: S. maxima *

Morphology: Very good specimen illustrated in Reid (1980, pl. 5/1-3). This is one of the largest extant coccolithophores.

Search data:
TagsLITHS: murolith, elliptical, CA: ca_disjunct, grill, plate,
CSPH: equant, CFC, CROSS-POLARS: rim-unicyclic, V-prominent, R-prominent,
MetricsLith size: 3->6µm; Coccosphere size: 26->53µm; Liths per sphere: 100->200
Data source notes: csph & lith length (BCs) from heimdal 1993; 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: [JRY rough estimate]

Plot of occurrence data:


Halldal, P. & Markali, J. (1955). Electron microscope studies on coccolithophorids from the Norwegian Sea, the Gulf Stream and the Mediterranean. Avhandlinger utgitt av det Norske Videnskapsakademi i Oslo. Matematisk-Naturvidenskapelig Klasse. 1955(1): 1-30. gs

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

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

Young, J. R., Arapov, J., Skejic, S., Bakrac, A., Buzancic, M. & Triantaphyllou, M. (2020). Verification of the life-cycle of Helicosphaera pavimentum, and discussion of the identity of Syracolithus dalmaticus. Journal of Nannoplankton Research. 30(1): 41-47. gs V O


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

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