Syracosphaera pulchra

Classification: ntax_cenozoic -> Syracosphaerales -> Syracosphaeraceae -> Syracosphaera -> SY pulchra gp -> pulchra type -> Syracosphaera pulchra
Sister taxa: S. histrica, S. pulchra


Citation: Syracosphaera pulchra Lohmann, 1902
Rank: Species

Distinguishing features: BCs without spines, large; XCs dome-shaped with central depression

Farinacci & Howe catalog pages: S. pulchra * , S. decussata *

BCs - large (4.5-8 µm); mid-wall flange prominent; inner wall-cycle well developed; central area with three concentric cycles of thin radial laths, occasionally incipient spine in centre.
CFCs - similar to BCs but with robust bifurcate-tipped spine.
XCs - dome-shaped, rim sub-horizontal, flange-like. Radial cycle forms vertical part of wall, numerous elements with wide slits. Central part formed of several cycles of laths; with a central conical depression.

Size: Coccospheres 15-25 µm.

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

Ecology & Biogeography: A common species, with weak preference for oligotrophic areas (Ziveri et al. 2004)

Biology & life-cycles: There is a well-established alternate holococcolith-bearing phase. Holococcoliths previously referred to as = Calyptrosphaera oblonga and Calyptrosphaera pirus, see Cros et al. (2000), Geisen et al. (2002), Saugestad & Heimdal (2002). Since the oblonga-type and pirus-type holococcoliths are well differentiated we suspect that S. pulchra consists of two species which are only differentiable in the holococcolithophore life-cycle stage (Geisen et al. 2002, 2004).

See also: Syracosphaera pulchra HOL oblonga type ;Syracosphaera pulchra HOL pirus type ; ;

Search data:
TagsLITHS: murolith, elliptical, CA: ca_disjunct, grill, process,
CSPH: tubular, elongated, CFC, XC, CROSS-POLARS: rim-bicyclic, V-prominent, R-prominent,
MetricsLith size: 4->8µm; Coccosphere size: 15->25µm; Liths per sphere: 20->60
Data source notes: RCC
The morphological data given here can be used on the advanced search page. See also these notes

Geological Range:
Notes: BCs commonly recorded from Pliocene and Pleistocene sediments, reasonably reliable default identification for large (>5µm) Syracosphaera coccoliths.
Last occurrence (top): Extant Data source: present in the plankton (Young et al. 2003)
First occurrence (base): within Pliocene Epoch (2.59-5.33Ma, base in Zanclean stage). Data source: [JRY rough estimate]

Plot of occurrence data:


Andruleit, H., Rogalla, U. & Staeger, S. (2005). Living coccolithophores recorded during the onset of upwelling conditions off Oman in the western Arabian Sea. Journal of Nannoplankton Research. 27(1): 1-14. gs V O

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

Hay, W. W. & Beaudry, F. M. (1973). Calcareous nannofossils - Leg 15. Initial Reports of the Deep Sea Drilling Project. 15: 625-684. gs V O

Lohmann, H. (1902). Die Coccolithophoridae, eine Monographie der Coccolithen bildenden Flagellaten, zugleich ein Beitrag zur Kenntnis des Mittelmeerauftriebs. Archiv für Protistenkunde. 1: 89-165. gs V O

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

Perch-Nielsen, K. (1977a). Albian to Pleistocene calcareous nannofossils from the Western South Atlantic, DSDP Leg 39. Initial Reports of the Deep Sea Drilling Project. 39: 699-823. gs V O

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

Skejic, S. et al. (2018). Coccolithophore diversity in open waters of the middle Adriatic Sea in pre- T and post-winter periods. Marine Micropaleontology. 143(1): 30-45. gs

Winter, A., Reiss, Z. & Luz, B. (1979). Distribution of living coccolithophore assemblages in the Gulf of Elat ('Aqaba). Marine Micropaleontology. 4: 197-223. gs

Young, J. R. (1998). Neogene. In, Bown, P. R. (ed.) Calcareous Nannofossil Biostratigraphy. British Micropalaeontological Society Publication Series. 225-265. 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 compiled by Jeremy R. Young, Paul R. Bown, Jacqueline A. Lees viewed: 15-6-2021

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