Syracosphaera pulchra HOL pirus type

Classification: ntax_cenozoic -> Holococcoliths -> convex -> Syracosphaera pulchra HOL pirus type
Sister taxa: C. sphaeroidea HOL, S. pulchra HOL oblonga type, S. pulchra HOL pirus type, C. divergens, C. galea, C. sp. cf. heimdaliae ⟩⟨ C. heimdaliae, C. radiata, Flosculosphaera, Gliscolithus


Citation: Syracosphaera pulchra Lohmann, 1902 HOL pirus type, sensu Young et al., 2003
Rank: Species

Distinguishing features: Tube and cover sharply separated; cover with openings at base

Farinacci & Howe catalog pages: C. pirus *

Morphology: Coccolith structure - dome-shaped, formed of layer of crystallites in hexagonal array with the crystallographic c-axis perpendicular to the surface. In LM the rim is bright and central part dark.
Coccospheres weakly dimorphic, piriform.
Coccolith form - tube about 10 crystallites high, tiered wall fabric; basal flange; distal cover recessed into tube, domal with ring of 8-10 pores around contact with tube; internal ridges surround pores in at least some specimens. Circum-flagellar coccoliths more elevated and with pyramidal central boss.

Size: : Liths 2-3 µm long.

Biology & life-cycles: The association of these holococcoliths with Syracosphaera pulchra has been demonstrated by observation of numerous combination coccospheres, Cros et al. (2000), Geisen et al. (2002), Saugestad & Heimdal (2002). In addition oblonga-type holococcoliths also occur in assocaition with S. pulchra and this is interpreted as a result of pseudo-cryptic speciation (Geisen et al. 2002).
Triantaphyllou et al. (2009) report and discuss a single possible combination coccosphere with Syracosphaera protrudens. This appears to be a well-formed combination coccosphere, however,  given that the association with S. pulchra is so well established the least problematic explanation of this speciemen is that it is an accidental association or xenosphere (see Young & Geisen 2002), possibly formed in a fecal pellet. In, weak, support of this some coccoliths are in anomalous orientations.

Phylogenetic relations:

See also: Syracosphaera pulchra ;

Search data:
TagsLITHS: holococcolith, elliptical, hollow, CA: pores, process, closed,
CSPH: elongated, CFC, CROSS-POLARS: V-prominent, R-prominent,
MetricsLith size: 2.2->3.2µm; Coccosphere size: 6->18µm; Liths per sphere: 150->200
Data source notes: morphom data from Cros & Fortuño (2002)
The morphological data given here can be used on the advanced search page. See also these notes

Geological Range:
Notes: Can be common in well-preserved Quaternary sediments (Crudeli et al. 2006).
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. & Fortuño, J. -M. (2002). Atlas of northwestern Mediterranean coccolithophores. Scientia Marina. 66: 1-186. gs V O

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

Geisen, M., Billard, C., Broerse, A. T. C., Cros, L., Probert, I. & Young, J. R. (2002a). Life-cycle associations involving pairs of holococcolithophorid species: intraspecific variation or cryptic speciation? European Journal of Phycology. 37: 531-550. gs V O

Hallegraeff, G. M. (1984). Coccolithophorids (Calcareous Nanoplankton) from Australian waters. Botanica Marina. 27: 229-247. gs

Heimdal, B. R. & Saugestad, A. H. (2002). Light microscope studies on coccolithophorids from the western Mediterranean Sea, with notes on combination cells of Daktylethra pirus and Syracosphaera pulchra. Plant biosystems. 136(1): 3-28. gs

Kamptner, E. (1937b). Neue und bemerkenswerte Coccolithineen aus dem Mittelmeer. Archiv für Protistenkunde. 89: 279-316. gs

Norris, R. E. (1985). Indian Ocean nanoplankton. II. Holococcolithophorids (Calyptrosphaeraceae, Prymnesiophyceae) with a review of extant genera. Journal of Phycology. 21: 619-641. 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., Dimiza, M. D., Malinverno, E. & Young, J. R. (2009). Evidence for a possible life-cycle association between Syracosphaera protrudens (heterococcolithophore) and Syracosphaera pulchra HOL pirus type (holococcolithophore). Journal of Micropalaeontology. 28(1): 1-6. gs V O

Young, J. R. & Geisen, M. (2002). Xenospheres – associations of coccoliths resembling coccospheres. Journal of Nannoplankton Research. 24(1): 27-35. 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


Syracosphaera pulchra HOL pirus type compiled by Jeremy R. Young, Paul R. Bown, Jacqueline A. Lees viewed: 8-3-2021

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