Catapsydrax unicavus

Classification: pf_cenozoic -> Globigerinidae -> Catapsydrax -> Catapsydrax unicavus
Sister taxa: C. indianus, C. dissimilis, C. globiformis, C. africanus, C. howei, C. unicavus, C. sp.


Citation: Catapsydrax unicavus Bolli, Loeblich and Tappan 1957
Rank: Species
Basionym: Catapsydrax unicavus
Taxonomic discussion:

Catapsydrax unicavus is the most common and long-ranging species in the genus, extending from the early Eocene to early Miocene. An important aspect of our taxonomy is the resurrection of Globorotaloides suteri Bolli. In the Atlas of Eocene Planktonic Foraminifera, Globorotaloides suteri was considered a junior synonym of Catapsydrax unicavus because of similarities between the holotypes (Olsson and others, 2006a). These early images of the holotype of Globorotaloides suteri, however, were of limited quality. Based on evidence from new SEM images of the G. suteri type, which better represent the morphology of the spiral side, we now separate the two (see discussion under the Globorotaloides suteri entry). It is now clear that G. suteri has a distinctly flattened spiral side (Pl. 4.10, Figs. 5-7 and 11-13), as originally described by Bolli and others (1957). Moreover, C. unicavus has an obligate bulla whereas bullate and non-bullate forms of G. suteri occur. The type specimen of Blow and Banner’s (1962) subspecies Globigerinita unicava primitiva from the upper Eocene of Tanzania was illustrated and discussed by Pearson and Wade (2015) where it was included in synonymy with Catapsydrax unicavus Bolli, Loeblich, and Tappan, although we recognize there may be grounds for separation of the taxa based on the greater inflation of both chambers and bulla in primitiva (see Pearson and Wade, 2015, for additional discussion). Catapsydrax unicavus is common in the type region of the Oligocene Chattian and Rupelian stages in Boreal northwest Europe (Hooyberghs and De Meuter, 1972; Hooyberghs and others, 1992). The various forms from the North Sea ‘Boom Clay’ and ‘Edgdem Sands’, referred by Hooyberghs and De Meuter (1972) and Hooyberghs and others (1992) to a variety of species and subspecies of Globigerinita (including pera, scandretti, primitiva and unicavus), we now regard as C. unicavus.

In the Atlas of Eocene Planktonic Foraminifera Olsson and others (2006a) regarded Globigerina simulans Bermúdez (1961), which has a flat bulla covering the umbilical region, as a junior synonym of C. dissimilis. New SEM images of the holotype of simulans (not shown but available at the USNM collection archive), show that it has a single posterior infralaminal aperture, which is a definitive characteristic of C. unicavus.

As discussed, [see genus Catapsydrax] by including Catapsydrax parvulus Bolli, Loeblich, and Tappan of Kennett and Srinivasan (1983) in our concept of C. unicavus, the range of this species (and thus the genus Catapsydrax), extends into the upper Miocene (Zone M12). [Coxall & Spezzaferri 2018]

Catalog entries: Catapsydrax unicavus, Globigerina isahayensis, Globigerina linaperta turgida, Globigerinita unicava primitiva

Type images:

Distinguishing features: Moderately low trochospiral, compact to slightly lobulate test; Chambers globular, embracing, increasing rapidly in size. Terminal bulla extends over the umbilicus and has 1 infralaminal aperture.

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.


Wall type: Cancellate, sacculifer-type wall texture, generally with heavy gametogenetic calcification in adult specimens. [Coxall & Spezzaferri 2018]

Morphology: Moderately low trochospiral, compact to slightly lobulate test consisting of about 2½-3 whorls. Chambers globular, embracing, increasing rapidly in size with a terminal bulla extending over the umbilicus. The bulla may be flattened or inflated, and has a continuous, thickened imperforate rim and a single infralaminal aperture in a posterior position. The early ontogenetic whorl, comprising ~5 chambers, is somewhat flattened and typically raised slightly above the adult whorl. The adult whorl has 3-4 globular chambers increasing rapidly in size. Sutures, straight on the umbilical side, slightly curved on the spiral side and moderately depressed. The primary aperture small, semi-circular low umbilical arch, visible only when the bulla is broken or missing. The edge profile is an ovoid revealing the embracing bulla. [Coxall & Spezzaferri 2018]

Size: Holotype maximum diameter 0.22 mm, thickness 0.17 mm. [Coxall & Spezzaferri 2018]

Character matrix

test outline:Lobatechamber arrangement:Trochospiraledge view:Inequally biconvexaperture:Umbilical
sp chamber shape:Globularcoiling axis:Lowperiphery:N/Aaperture border:Bulla
umb chbr shape:Globularumbilicus:Narrowperiph margin shape:Broadly roundedaccessory apertures:Infralaminal
spiral sutures:Moderately depressedumb depth:Deepwall texture:Spinoseshell porosity:Finely Perforate: 1-2.5µm
umbilical or test sutures:Moderately depressedfinal-whorl chambers:4.0-4.0 N.B. These characters are used for advanced search. N/A - not applicable

Biogeography and Palaeobiology

Geographic distribution: Global, including high latitudes. [Coxall & Spezzaferri 2018]

Isotope paleobiology: Catapsydrax unicavus, like other species of Catapsydrax, registers among the highest δ18O values of assemblages and lowest δ13C indicating it was a thermocline to sub-thermocline calcifier (Poore and Matthews, 1984; Arthur and others, 1989; van Eijden and Ganssen, 1995; Sexton and others, 2006; Wade and others, 2007; Pearson and Wade, 2009; Spezzaferri and Pearson 2009; Moore and others, 2014). [Coxall & Spezzaferri 2018]

Phylogenetic relations: The origin of Catapsydrax unicavus is uncertain. It probably evolved from Globorotaloides quadrocameratus in the early Eocene, which would preserve Catapsydrax as a sister clade of Globorotaloides (Olsson and others, 2006a). Another possibility is that it was derived from a subbotinid such as Subbotina cancellata (Olsson and Others, 2006b). [Coxall & Spezzaferri 2018]

Most likely ancestor: Globorotaloides quadrocameratus - at confidence level 2 (out of 5). Data source: Olsson et al. 2006 f5.1.
Likely descendants: Catapsydrax dissimilis; Catapsydrax globiformis; Catapsydrax howei; plot with descendants

Biostratigraphic distribution

Geological Range:
Notes: Lower Eocene Zone E2 (Olsson and others, 2006a) to the upper Miocene Zone M12 (= N15) (based on including C. parvulus of Kennett & Srinivasan; see taxonomic discussion above). [Coxall & Spezzaferri 2018]
Last occurrence (top): within M12 zone (9.83-10.46Ma, top in Tortonian stage). Data source: Olsson et al. 2006 f5.1
First occurrence (base): within E2 zone (55.20-55.81Ma, base in Ypresian stage). Data source: Olsson et al. 2006 f5.1

Plot of occurrence data:

Primary source for this page: Coxall & Spezzaferri 2018 - Olig Atlas chap.4 p.88; Olsson et al. 2006 - Eocene Atlas, chap. 5, p. 75


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Catapsydrax unicavus compiled by the pforams@mikrotax project team viewed: 24-7-2021

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