Classification: ntax_cenozoic -> Coccolithales -> Coccolithaceae -> Coccolithus
Sister taxa: Coccolithus, Bramletteius, Campylosphaera, Chiasmolithus, Coronocyclus, Cruciplacolithus, Ericsonia, Solidopons ⟩⟨ Birkelundia, Clausicoccus, Craticullithus, Hughesius, Kilwalithus

Daughter taxa (time control age-window is: 0-800Ma)Granddaughter taxa
C. pelagicus group
Elliptical to sub-circular with central opening-sometimes with bar or delicate cross

C. formosus group
Circular to subcircular

C. biparteoperculatus group
Central area filled by broad bar

C. gigas group
Large to very large; central areas narrow to moderately-wide, with crossbars that are conspicuous in LM.

Coccolithus sp.
Specimens which cannot be assigned to established species


Citation: Coccolithus Schwarz, 1894
Rank: Genus
Type species: Coccolithus pelagicus (Wallich, 1877) Schiller, 1930
Taxonomic discussion: Circular species do not occur in Neogene. Differentiation of Cruciplacolithus and Coccolithus can be problematic.

Distinguishing features: Eliptical or circular; central area usually open, may have with simple bar or weak axial cross

Farinacci & Howe catalog pages: Coccolithus * , Coccosphaera * , Coccolithophora * , Cyathosphaera * , Cyatolithus * , Crystallolithus * , Ectalithus *

Morphology: Elliptical or circular placolith coccolith showing the typical coccolithaceae rim structure (V-unit forms distal shield and lower cycle of central-area; R-unit forms proximal shield and upper cycle of central-area), central area open or spanned by disjunct bar on proximal surface.

Search data:
TagsLITHS: placolith, elliptical,
CSPH: equant, monomorphic, CROSS-POLARS: rim-bicyclic, V-prominent, R-prominent,
MetricsLith size: 3->24µm;
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: Total of range of species in this database
First occurrence (base): at base of Danian Stage (0% up, 66Ma, in Danian stage). Data source: Total of range of species in this database

Plot of occurrence data:


Bown, P. R. (2005b). Cenozoic calcareous nannofossil biostratigraphy, ODP Leg 198 Site 1208 (Shatsky Rise, northwest Pacific Ocean). Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results. 198: 1-44. gs V O

Jordan, R. W., Cros, L. & Young, J. R. (2004). A revised classification scheme for living Haptophytes. Micropaleontology. 50(supplement 1): 55-79. gs

Schiller, J. (1930). Coccolithineae. In, Rabenhorst, L. (ed.) Kryptogamen-Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz. Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft, Leipzig 89-267. gs

Schwarz, E. H. L. (1894). Coccoliths. Annals and Magazine of Natural History. 14: 341-346. gs V O

Wallich, G. C. (1877). Observations on the coccosphere. Annals and Magazine of Natural History. 19: 342-350. gs V O


Coccolithus compiled by Jeremy R. Young, Paul R. Bown, Jacqueline A. Lees viewed: 27-2-2021

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