Nannotax3 - ntax_cenozoic - Ochrosphaera neapolitana

Ochrosphaera neapolitana

Classification: ntax_cenozoic -> Coccolithales -> Hymenomonadaceae -> Ochrosphaera -> Ochrosphaera neapolitana
Sister taxa: O. neapolitana, O. sp.


Citation: Ochrosphaera neapolitana Schussnig, 1930
Rank: Species
Synonyms: N.B. The name O. verrucosa has often been applied to coccoliths with distal flanges whereas the archetypal O. neapolitana morphotype has been regarded as lacking the distal flange. However, both coccolith morphotypes occur on most cells, and in all cultures studied (Fresnel & Probert, 2005).

Distinguishing features:
Parent taxon (Ochrosphaera): Coccoliths with well-developed basal flange and sometimes with distal flange
This taxon: See generic diagnosis

Farinacci & Howe catalog pages: O. neapolitana *

Morphology: In old cultures calcite overgrowths can occur on the live coccospheres and may proceed to form massively overcalcified pseudo-cysts (Fresnel & Probert, 2005).

Cystallography: Individual coccoliths show distinct birefringence in plan view with strongly oblique  c-axis orientations. In side view the c-axes are steeply inclined inwards  and the complete cocosphere gives a radial-type extinction pattern. SEM observations suggests that, especially with slight overgrowth, rhombohedral faces form the distal and inner tube surfaces, which is concordant withthelm observations. [JRY unpubl. obs.]

Cultures: strains of this species are maintained in culture, for details see Roscoff culture collection.

Ecology & Biogeography: "In our experience Ochrosphaera is the most frequently observed coccolithophorid in littoral zone samples from diverse locations in the North Atlantic and Indian Oceans and the Mediterranean Sea (Fresnel, 1989). Inouye (1988) also noted that Ochrosphaera is one of the most common and widely distributed microalgae of the littoral zone of the Japanese current region." [Fresnel & Probert 2005]

Search data:
TagsLITHS: murolith, elliptical, CA: vacant,
CSPH: equant, monomorphic, CROSS-POLARS: rim-unicyclic, V-prominent,
MetricsLith size: 1->2.5µm; Segments: 5->12; Coccosphere size: 7->8µm;
Data source notes: RCC
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:


Fresnel, J. & Probert, I. (2005). The ultrastructure and life cycle of the coastal coccolithophorid Ochrosphaera neapolitana (Prymnesiophyceae). European Journal of Phycology. 40(1): 105-122. gs V O

Schussnig, B. (1930). Ochrosphaera neapolitana, nov. gen., nov. spec., eine neue Chrysomonade mit Kalkhülle. Osterreichische Botanische Zeitschrift. 79: 164-170. gs

Schussnig, B. (1940). Über einige neue Protophyten aus der Adria. Archiv für Protistenkunde. 93: 317-330. gs

West, J. A. (1969). Observations on four rare marine microalgae from Hawaii. Phycologia. 8(3-4): 187-192. 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


Ochrosphaera neapolitana compiled by Jeremy R. Young, Paul R. Bown, Jacqueline A. Lees viewed: 16-1-2022

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

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