pforams@mikrotax - Globigerinita glutinata

Globigerinita glutinata

Classification: pf_cenozoic -> Globigerinitidae -> Globigerinita -> Globigerinita glutinata
Sister taxa: G. glutinata, G. parkerae, G. minuta, G. uvula, G. sp.


Citation: Globigerinita glutinata (Egger, 1893)
Rank: species
Basionym: Globigerina glutinata

(Note: this is a common living species; we restrict this synonymy list to references that are relevant to the taxonomic placement of the species, and Oligocene to lower Miocene occurrences.) [Pearson et al. 2018]

Taxonomic discussion:

This is a very abundant living species for which there is a stable taxonomic concept as a microperforate form (e.g., Parker, 1962; Hemleben and others, 1989). Egger’s (1893) original type material is lost. The illustration (the umbilical view of which is reproduced in Plate 16.2, Fig. 1) shows a specimen with a globigeriniform test and just three chambers in the final whorl that is not typical of the species. There is no scale, but the same plate contains many other foraminifera apparently drawn to a common scale and the specimen is about one third the maximum diameter of Trilobatus sacculifer (for example) suggesting a maximum diameter between 200-250 µm. The accompanying description emphasizes the difference in wall texture from Globigerina triloba (=Trilobatus trilobus): “ larger specimens the difference between the species becomes particularly clear in that the test of Globigerina glutinata remains delicate and matt [dull sheen], whilst the pores of Globigerina triloba appear very large and associated with a rough network [of ridges]” (translated by M. Kučera). Parker (1962) first appreciated that the nonspinose wall texture distinguished this species from Globigerina and related forms (see discussion under Genus Globigerinita, above). Clearly she regarded Egger’s illustrations as insufficient to prove this, but based her concept on the figures of Rhumbler (1911) who, she indicated, must have seen Egger’s material (Parker, 1962:248). Parker (1962:219) aimed for a natural classification of modern species “which recognizes variation and intergradation... The artificial splitting of species produces complications which are endless, as each worker emphasizes different criteria”. Accordingly, when describing glutinata, she showed a wide range of morphotypes including specimens with supplementary apertures on the spiral side and specimens with bullae of various shapes and sizes alongside specimens lacking bullae (a subset of which is shown on Plate 16.2). Subsequent workers on modern planktonic foraminifera have tended to base their concepts on Parker’s excellent illustrations (e.g., Hemleben and others, 1989). Other workers, however, have elected to formally split the group into species and/or subspecies (e.g., Brönnimann and Resig, 1971).

Egger’s figured specimen does not possess a bulla, a point that has a bearing on subsequent taxonomic debates. There is considerable discussion in the biological and paleontological literature on the significance or otherwise of an umbilical bulla of varying degrees of complexity and inflation in planktonic foraminifera, in general, and Globigerinita, in particular, and how to reflect that variation in the species and genus level taxonomy. It seems that some species have a tendency to form a bulla of a particular morphology as a necessary reproductive structure whereas in other species bullae can occur, but are not obligate. Relative to chamber form, bullae seem to be particularly plastic and variable between individuals as to degree of inflation, extensions along the sutures, and the number of infralaminal apertures, and hence provide considerable scope for taxonomic splitting. Some authors (e.g., Spezzaferri, 1994) have restricted their concept of glutinata to include only inflated bullate forms, but this conflicts with the fact that Egger’s illustrated specimen does not have a bulla and also makes the identification of pre-adult specimens problematic. In this work we do not regard the bulla as being of high taxonomic value in this group (following Parker, 1962; Kennett and Srinivasan, 1983; Hemleben and others, 1989; Pearson, 1995; Pearson and Chaisson, 1997; Nathan and Leckie, 2003), which simplifies the taxonomy considerably. We do, however, acknowledge that the Miocene Globigerinatella lineage, which descends from glutinata, can only be recognized and divided on the basis of its complex and overlapping obligate bullae (e.g., Pearson, 1995). We observe that bullae tend to be rarer and less complicated in the Oligocene and lower Miocene than they are in modern Globigerinita, but they do occur frequently (e.g., the Oligocene Globigerinita boweni morphotype of Brönnimann and Resig, 1971, and the Miocene Globigerinita incrusta morphotype of Akers, 1955, both of which are illustrated in SEM here for the first time; see Pl. 16.2, Figs. 2-3 and 13-15; see also Oligocene bullate specimens of Nocchi and others, 1991; Leckie and others, 1993; and Li and others, 2003b).

Oligocene and Miocene Globigerinita glutinata have commonly been described under the designation Globigerina juvenilis Bolli, 1957 (the holotype of which is middle Miocene). We illustrate here new SEMs of the holotype of juvenilis (Plate 16.2, Figs. 5-7) and confirm that it is a microperforate form that falls within our concept of glutinata. In the Oligocene it is common to find populations that appear to intergrade from Globigerinita glutinata morphotypes (usually with 3½ chambers in the final whorl and an intra-extrumbilical aperture) to Tenuitella munda morphotypes (usually with four chambers in the final whorl, an extraumbilical aperture and a slightly lower trochospiral). This occurs, for example, in the Ottenthal Formation of Austria (probably lower Zone O2, close to the first appearance of glutinata), but also at higher stratigraphic levels within the Oligocene (e.g., Jenkins, 1966; Jenkins and Srinivasan, 1986; Li and others, 2003a). We use the apertural position as the primary means of distinguishing the species (and genera). On Plate 16.2, Figs. 9-11 we illustrate the holotype of Globigerina parva Bolli (1957), in SEM for the first time (a form originally described from the lower Oligocene). We confirm the microperforate wall texture and note that this morphotype falls within this concept of glutinata but shows transitional features to munda (see also Pearson and Wade, 2009). On Plate 16.3, Fig. 13, we illustrate a specimen that is very close to typical munda in several respects but has an aperture that extends into the umbilicus and so is placed by us, on this arbitrary basis, in glutinata. [Pearson et al. 2018]

Catalog entries: Globigerina glutinata, Globigerinita naparimaensis, Globigerinita incrusta, Tinophodella ambitacrena, Globigerina juvenilis, Globigerina parva

Type images:

Distinguishing features:
Parent taxon (Globigerinita): Umbilical aperture, often bulla:
This taxon: Low trochospire

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: Microperforate, smooth with pustules, radially crystalline in section (glutinata-type). [Pearson et al. 2018]

Morphology: Trochospiral, low to medium spired, globigeriniform, primary aperture intraumbilical or intra-extraumbilical, usually a broad low arch with a fine lip of constant thickness; 3-3½ globular chambers in final whorl; umbilical sutures radial, incised; spiral sutures depressed, radial or slightly curved; may lack bulla (juvenilis morphotype), or may possess a small umbilical bulla (boweni morphotype), a large inflated umbilical bulla, a wide deflated umbilical bulla (incrusta morphotype), or a deflated bulla with infralaminar apertural tunnels extending along sutures (ambitacrena morphotype). Supplementary sutural apertures may be present on the spiral side. [Pearson et al. 2018]

Size: Mostly small to medium size (150-400 µm); generally smaller in the Oligocene than Recent. [Pearson et al. 2018]

Character matrix
test outline:Lobatechamber arrangement:Trochospiraledge view:Equally biconvexaperture:Umbilical
sp chamber shape:Globularcoiling axis:Low-moderateperiphery:N/Aaperture border:Bulla
umb chbr shape:Globularumbilicus:Narrowperiph margin shape:Broadly roundedaccessory apertures:Infralaminal
spiral sutures:Weakly depressedumb depth:Deepwall texture:Finely pustuloseshell porosity:Microperforate: <1µm
umbilical or test sutures:Moderately depressedfinal-whorl chambers:3.0-3.5 N.B. These characters are used for advanced search. N/A - not applicable

Biogeography and Palaeobiology

Geographic distribution:


[Pearson et al. 2018] Tropical to subpolar [Kennett & Srinivasan 1983] In modern oceans an abundant, warm & temperate water, species [SCOR WG138]

Isotope paleobiology:

Oligocene and lower Miocene forms have been recorded with an isotopic signature indicative of a shallow, mixed-layer habitat (Pearson and others, 2001; Majewski, 2003; Pearson and Wade, 2009).

[Pearson et al. 2018]

Phylogenetic relations:

Descended from Tenuitella munda in the lower Oligocene (Jenkins, 1966; Jenkins and Srinivasan, 1986). [Pearson et al. 2018]
Ga. glutinata is closely related to Ga. uvula but is larger and less trochospiral. Ga. glutinata is one of the long-ranging planktonic foraminiferal species in the Neogene and is ancestral to Globigerinatella and Candeina. [Kennett & Srinivasan 1983]
Molecular Genotypes (data from PFR2 database, June 2017). References:  André et al. 2014; Ujiié & Lipps 2009; Seears et al. 2012.

Most likely ancestor: Tenuitella munda - at confidence level 3 (out of 5). Data source: .
Likely descendants: Globigerinatella insueta; Globigerinita parkerae; Globigerinita uvula; Mutabella mirabilis; plot with descendants

Biostratigraphic distribution

Geological Range:

If a broad concept is taken of this taxon, as here, it ranges from the lower Oligocene to Recent. Bolli (1957) recorded the lowest occurrence (LO) of Globigerina juvenilis (= Globigerinita glutinata in this study) in Trinidad at the base of the Globorotalia kugleri Zone (= approximately Zone O7, upper Oligocene). Li (1987) recorded the LO of Tenuitellinata juvenilis (=Globigerinita glutinata) at the base of Zone P21 (= base of Zone O4). Jenkins (1966) described the transition between Globorotalia munda and Globigerina juvenilis (= Globigerinita glutinata in this study) in the upper part of the lower Oligocene of New Zealand (see also Jenkins, 1985) (= approximately Zone O4 in this study). Bolli (1957) described his species Globigerina parva from a level equivalent to Zone O2 in the lower Oligocene. The parva form is herein regarded as an intermediate between T. munda and G. glutinata but within the morphological range of the latter species (see Pearson and Wade, 2009:211). We have observed a similar population of munda-glutinata intermediates in the Ottenthal Formation of Austria (nannofossil Zone NP22, probably equivalent to lower Zone O2).

[Pearson et al. 2018]
Last occurrence (top): Extant Data source: present in the plankton (SCOR WG138)
First occurrence (base): within O2 zone (30.28-32.10Ma, base in Rupelian 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.436; Kennett & Srinivasan 1983, p.224


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Globigerinita glutinata compiled by the pforams@mikrotax project team viewed: 20-9-2021

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