Nannotax3 - ntax_cenozoic - Gephyrocapsa


Classification: ntax_cenozoic -> Isochrysidales -> Noelaerhabdaceae -> Gephyrocapsa
Sister taxa: Emiliania, Gephyrocapsa, Pseudoemiliania, Reticulofenestra, Noelaerhabdus, Bekelithella, Pyrocyclus

Daughter taxa (time control age-window is: 0-800Ma)Granddaughter taxa
Extant/Late Pleistocene Species (organised by size)
Gephyrocapsa oceanica
Large species of Gephyrocapsa; bridge at low to intermediate angle to short axis; central area usually wide.

Gephyrocapsa muellerae
Intermediate size species of Gephyrocapsa; bridge at high angle to short axis; central area rather small.

Gephyrocapsa ornata
Similar to G. ericsonii but larger, with teeth around tube, much higher bridge; consistently high angle (within 70-80° from short axis).

Gephyrocapsa ericsonii
Very small species of Gephyrocapsa; bridge at high to intermediate angle to short axis; wide central area, thin bridge.
Gephyrocapsa ericsonii ericsonii type
Gephyrocapsa ericsonii protohuxleyi type
Gephyrocapsa ericsonii protohuxleyi type with half bridge
Gephyrocapsa ericsonii protohuxleyi type with thorn
Gephyrocapsa ericsonii crassipons type

Gephyrocapsa parvula
Like G. ericsonii but with no bridge

Gephyrocapsa sp elevated bridge

Extinct/Middle & Early Pleistocene species (organised by age)
Gephyrocapsa caribbeanica
Large to medium sized species of Gephyrocapsa; bridge at intermediate angle to short axis, and low (typically almost flush with the shield); central area almost closed.

Gephyrocapsa omega
Intermediate to large size species of Gephyrocapsa; bridge at low angle to short axis, central area broad.

Gephyrocapsa lumina
Large Gephyrocapsa species; bridge at intermediate angle (40-60°) to the short axis, central opening size moderate to narrow.

Gephyrocapsa small
Gephyrocapsa <3µm long - not usually identifiable to species level by light microscopy

Gephyrocapsa sp.
Specimens which cannot be assigned to established species


Citation: Gephyrocapsa Kamptner, 1943
Rank: Genus
Type species: Gephyrocapsa oceanica Kamptner 1943
Taxonomic discussion: Species included: Gephyrocapsa taxonomy is notoriously confused but the following taxa are a useful starting set

Distinguishing features:
Parent taxon (Noelaerhabdaceae): Heterococcoliths with Reticulofenestra-type structure, V-units vestigal, R-units forming grill, both shields, and two-layered tube
This taxon: Bridge across the central area

Farinacci & Howe catalog pages: Gephyrocapsa *


Coccoliths with structure similar to those of Emiliania and Reticulofenestra (see Young 1989 for discussion), but with a conjunct bridge, formed from inner tube-elements spanning central area; shields usually solid, i.e. without slits between the elements.


Biology & life-cycles: Diploid phase non-motile producing heterococcoliths. Haploid phase motile, non-calcifying.

Phylogenetic relations: Gephyrocapsa and Reticulofenestra coccoliths only differ in the presence/absence of a bridge and at the time of origin of Gephyrocapsa the only other member of the Noelaerhabdaceae was Reticulofenestra. So, evoution from Reticulofenestra is very likely.

Most likely ancestor: Reticulofenestra - at confidence level 3 (out of 5). Data source: Perch-Nielsen (1985), and others. .
Likely descendants: Emiliania; plot with descendants

Search data:
LITHS: placolith, elliptical, CA: ca_conjunct, grill, bar,
CSPH: equant, monomorphic, CROSS-POLARS: rim-unicyclic, R-prominent,
Lith size: 1.5->7µm; Coccosphere size: 3->10µm;
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 Messinian Stage (0% up, 7.3Ma, in Tortonian stage). Data source: Total of range of species in this database

Plot of occurrence data:


Bollmann, J. (1997). Morphology and biogeography of Gephyrocapsa coccoliths in Holocene sediments. Marine Micropaleontology. 29: 319-350. gs

Kamptner, E. (1943). Zur Revision der Coccolithineen-Spezies Pontosphaera huxleyi Lohm. Anzeiger der (Kaiserlichen) Akademie der Wissenschaften, Mathematische-Naturwissenschaftliche Klasse, Wien. 80: 73-49. 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

Samtleben, C. (1980). Die Evolution der Coccolithophoriden-Gattung Gephyrocapsa nach Befunden im Atlantik. Paläontologische Zeitschrift. 54: 91-127. gs

Young, J. R. (1989). Observations on heterococcolith rim structure and its relationship to developmental processes. In, Crux, J. A. & van Heck, S. E. (eds) Nannofossils and their applications: Proceedings of the 2nd INA Conference, London 1987. British Micropalaeontological Society Publication Series. 1-20. gs V O

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


Gephyrocapsa compiled by Jeremy R. Young, Paul R. Bown, Jacqueline A. Lees viewed: 25-9-2022

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