radiolaria - rads_cenozoic - Siphonosphaera socialis radiolaria - rads_cenozoic - Siphonosphaera socialis

Siphonosphaera socialis

Classification: rads_cenozoic -> Collosphaeridae -> Siphonosphaera -> Siphonosphaera socialis
Sister taxa: S. abyssi, S. cyathina, S. hyalina, S. magnisphaera, S. martensi, S. patinaria, S. polysiphonia, S. socialis, S. tenera, S. tubulosa, S. vesuvius, S. sp.


Citation: Siphonosphaera socialis Haeckel 1887
taxonomic rank: species
Basionym: Siphonosphaera socialis
1966 Siphonosphaera cf. socialis Haeckel - Benson p. 121-123; pl. 2, fig. 4
1967 Siphonosphaera polysiphonia Haeckel - Nigrini p. 18-19; pl. 1, fig. 4a-4b
1983 Siphonosphaera polysiphonia Haeckel - Benson p. 508
1995 Merosiphonia socialis - van de Paverd p. 67-68; pl, 9, figs. 8-10; pl. 10, figs. 1-4, 6-9; pl. 11, figs. 1-6

Catalog entries: Siphonosphaera socialis

Original description: Shell a regular or subregular sphere, bearing only a small number (one to four, commonly two to three) of short and broad cylindrical tubules, irregularly scattered. Between them many small circular or subcircular pores of different sizes, double as broad as their bars. Eight to ten pores in the half meridian of the shell. Tubules three to six times as broad as the pores, about as long as broad, now quite cylindrical, now somewhat dilated at the outer opening (Although the shells and cells of this common species are among the smallest, their colonies are among the largest, often containing more than one hundred social individuals, often enclosed in alveoles.)

Diameter of the shell 40 to 50µm, of the pores 2 to 4µm, of the tubules 15 to 20µm; length of them about the same.
Remarks on original description: very common

Haeckel listed Siphonosphaera socialis under the subgeneric name Merosiphonia, but did not include the subgeneric name in the species name.


Published descriptions

Benson 1966 - Siphonosphaera polysiphonia Haeckel

Single, smooth, spherical to ellipsoidal shell with 4-20 or more unbranched hyaline tubules arising from the shell surface and without regular arrangement. Shell with scattered, small, unequal, subcircular to subelliptical pores (2-6 m in diameter) separated by wide intervening bars; 8-14 pores on half the circumference. Tubules of variable length, cylindrical with generally smooth rims, but in specimens with very long tubules the rims are surmounted by 2-3 short toothlike spines.

Measurements: based on 11 specimens from stations 27, 34, 46, 56,and 60: diameter of shell 87-108 µm, length of tubules 4-21 µm.

Remarks: This species differs from Haeckel's description and illustration of Siphonosphaera socialis (1887,p. 106, Pl. 6, Figs. 1, 2) in having more than four cylindrical tubules, smaller, less regular pores of the latticed shell and a much larger shell diameter. The diameter of the shell and the number of tubules of S. macrosiphonia Haeckel (1887, p. 107) agree with the Gulf specimens, but Haeckel describes its pores as being of equal size and distribution. Without an illustration of this species identification of the Gulf species with it is tentative only. It does occur in the central tropical Pacific whereas S. socialis was reported from the tropical and subtropical eastern Atlantic. Haeckel's illustration of S. serpula Haeckel (1887, p. 107, Pl. 6, fig. 6) is in nearly perfect agreement with the Gulf species, including shell diameter, but the tubules are contorted whereas those of the Gulf specimens are not. It is possible that the tubules of the latter are incomplete but if complete may show contortions. Siphonosphaera tubulosa Müller, according to Haeckel (1887. p. 105), has hyaline tubules but also a hyaline shell, although Brandt's illustration of a form he identified as S. tubulosa (Brandt, 1885, Pl. 7, fig. 33) has a shell with small scattered pores.S. tenera Brandt (1885, pp. 266-268) is described as having very short tubules but slit-like pores on the remainder of the shell (op. cit., Pl. 7, figs. 38, 39, 48).Positive identification of the Gulf species of Siphonosphaera is not possible mainly because its rare occurrence in the Gulf prohibits an adequate analysis of its intraspecific variation.

Distribution: Species of the genus Siphonosphaera have been reported from tropical or subtropical regions of all seas as well as from the Mediterranean Sea. In the absence of further knowledge this species appears to be a tropical oceanic form. In the Gulf it is very rare, occurring only at the southern Gulf stations 27, 34, 46, 56, 60, and 95.It is apparently not influenced by upwelling. \ From: Benson, 1966, p. 121-123; pl. 2, fig. 4:Siphonosphaera cf. socialis Haeckel?Siphonosphaera socialis Haeckel, 1887, Challenger Rept.,Zool., vol. 18. p. 106, Pl. 6, figs. 1, 2.?Siphonosphaera macrosiphonia Haeckel, 1887, Challenger Rept., Zool., vol. 18.p. 107.

Biogeography and Palaeobiology

Biostratigraphic distribution

Geological Range:
Last occurrence (top): Extant. Data source: Lazarus et al. 2015 - "R age group"
First occurrence (base): within Quaternary Period (0-2.59Ma, base in Gelasian stage). Data source: Lazarus et al. 2015 - "R age group"

Plot of occurrence data:


Benson, R. N. (1966). Recent Radiolaria from the Gulf of California. Thesis, Minnesota University. 1-577. gs

Benson, R. N. (1983). Quaternary radiolarians from the Mouth of the Gulf of California, Deep Sea Drilling Project Leg 65. Initial Reports of the Deep Sea Drilling Project. 65: 491-523. gs

Nigrini, C. A. (1967). Radiolaria in pelagic sediments from the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. Bulletin of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. 11: 1-125. gs

van de Paverd, P. J. (1995). Recent Polycystine Radiolaria from the Snellius-II Expedition. Thesis, Free University Amsterdam. 1-351. gs


Siphonosphaera socialis compiled by the radiolaria@mikrotax project team viewed: 10-12-2023

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