pforams@mikrotax - Tenuitella gemma pforams@mikrotax - Tenuitella gemma

Tenuitella gemma

Classification: pf_cenozoic -> Globigerinitidae -> Tenuitella -> Tenuitella gemma
Sister taxa: T. clemenciae ⟩⟨ T. angustiumbilicata, T. munda, T. gemma, T. praegemma, T. patefacta, T. insolita, T. sp.


Citation: Tenuitella gemma (Jenkins 1966)
taxonomic rank: Species
Basionym: Globorotalia gemma
Synonyms: [Pearson et al. 2018]
Taxonomic discussion:

This species was discussed in the Atlas of Eocene Planktonic Foraminifera by Huber and others (2006). Here we extend / modify the synonymy list as follows [Pearson et al. 2018]:

Li (1987) introduced his taxon neoclemenciae for gemma-like forms in which the aperture and lip extend to the periphery and in which the spiral side is flattened to concave. In his investigations of sections in Trinidad, Li (1987:310) found it to have a similar range to gemma. We report that the final chamber of the holotype was inadvertently broken off in our attempts to obtain a new SEM: images of the broken specimen (not shown here) allow us to confirm that the aperture on the penultimate chamber is also marginal in position. Spezzaferri (1994) recognized neoclemenciae and suggested it had fewer chambers than gemma although the holotypes of both have 5 chambers in the final whorl. She illustrated specimens attributed to both gemma and neoclemenciae that show a peripherally extended aperture, hence her concept was seemingly different from Li (1987). Various authors have documented neoclemenciae in taxonomic lists without illustrating the taxon or noting its distinguishing feature (e.g., Poag and Commeau, 1995; Miller and others, 1996; Malumián and Olivero, 2006; Alegret and others, 2008). We have observed that the apertural position in gemma is quite variable, sometimes even approaching a pseudoplanispiral condition (e.g., Plate 16.5, Figs. 10, 12). We also note that the holotype of gemma itself has an aperture that extends almost to the periphery and a somewhat concave spiral side (Plate 16.5, Figs. 1-3). With our current knowledge, there seems little to be gained stratigraphically in separating the forms so we have adopted the conservative approach and included neoclemenciae in synonymy with gemma. [Pearson et al. 2018]

The holotype of T. gemma, which is illustrated on Plate 16.7, Figs. 16-18), shows the characteristic features of the species, including a weakly lobate equatorial periphery, a nearly closed umbilicus, and a low apertural arch. Forms that are morphologically transitional between T. gemma and its ancestral species, T. praegemma, appear in the uppermost Eocene and range into the lowermost Oligocene. [Huber et al. 2006]

Catalog entries: Globorotalia gemma, Globigerinella liverovskae, Globigerina khadumica, Globorotalia (Turborotalia) cifellii, Globorotalia (Turborotalia) nkbrowni

Type images:

Distinguishing features:
Parent taxon (Tenuitella): Minute to small, low trochospiral test, with globular chambers. Monolamellar, microperforate wall with a smooth or finely pustulate surface.
This taxon: Like T. praegemma but test slightly more compressed, less lobate periphery and nearly closed umbilicus; and by absence of secondary apertures or apertural lips.

NB These concise distinguishing features statements are used in the tables of daughter-taxa to act as quick summaries of the differences between e.g. species of one genus.
They are being edited as the site is developed and comments on them are especially welcome.


Test small, very low trochospiral, equatorial periphery lobate, circular to elliptical in outline, axial periphery rounded; chambers globular, slightly compressed, 4½-6 in the final whorl, 10-12 comprising adult tests, increasing slowly in size; sutures slightly recurved, depressed on spiral and umbilical sides; umbilicus narrow, deep, sometimes nearly closed; aperture a very low arch bordered by a narrow lip, intra- to extraumbilical in position, sometimes extending to periphery (‘neoclemenciae’ morphotype) (description modified from Huber and others, 2006). [Pearson et al. 2018]

Wall type:
Microperforate glutinata-type wall, surface smooth to finely pustulose, pustules irregularly scattered on both sides of test. [Pearson et al. 2018]

Holotype 0.16 mm diameter; hypotypes 0.13-0.17 mm diameter, 0.07-0.08 mm breadth. [Pearson et al. 2018]

Character matrix
test outline:Lobatechamber arrangement:Trochospiraledge view:Equally biconvexaperture:Extraumbilical-peripheral
sp chamber shape:Globularcoiling axis:Lowperiphery:N/Aaperture border:Thin lip
umb chbr shape:Globularumbilicus:Narrowperiph margin shape:Broadly roundedaccessory apertures:None
spiral sutures:Moderately depressedumb depth:Shallowwall texture:Finely pustuloseshell porosity:Microperforate: <1µm
umbilical or test sutures:Strongly depressedfinal-whorl chambers:5-6 N.B. These characters are used for advanced search. N/A - not applicable

Biogeography and Palaeobiology

Geographic distribution

Global, from tropics to Ross Sea, Antarctica (Leckie and Webb, 1986; see map in Li and Radford, 1991, fig. 15). [Pearson et al. 2018]

Isotope paleobiology
No data available. [Pearson et al. 2018]

Phylogenetic relations
Descended from Tenuitella praegemma in the late Eocene (Li, 1987). Ancestral to Tenuitella munda in the late Eocene (see discussion under that species). [Pearson et al. 2018]

Most likely ancestor: Tenuitella praegemma - at confidence level 4 (out of 5). Data source: Li, 1987; Huber et al. 2006 f16.2.
Likely descendants: Tenuitella munda; plot with descendants

Biostratigraphic distribution

Geological Range:
Notes: The lowest confirmed occurrences are in the uppermost Eocene (e.g., Toumarkine, 1978; Huber and others, 2006) although we note that Premoli Silva and Boersma (1988) recorded an occurrence in the uppermost middle Eocene Zone P14. The highest confirmed occurrences are in the uppermost Oligocene close to the Oligocene/Miocene boundary (Li and others, 1992; Li and Radford, 1991; Spezzaferri, 1994; Pearson and Wade, 2009). Spezzaferri (1994) and Pälike and others (2010) record specimens in the lower Miocene but none are illustrated and we have been unable to confirm those observations. [Pearson et al. 2018]
Last occurrence (top): within O7 zone (22.96-25.21Ma, top in Aquitanian stage). Data source: Pearson et al. 2018 f16.1
First occurrence (base): within E15 zone (34.68-35.89Ma, base in Priabonian stage). Data source: Pearson et al. 2018 f16.1

Plot of occurrence data:

Primary source for this page: Pearson et al. 2018 - Olig Atlas chap.16 p.447; Huber et al. 2006 - Eocene Atlas, chap. 16, p. 488


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Tenuitella gemma compiled by the pforams@mikrotax project team viewed: 4-12-2023

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