pforams@mikrotax - Beella digitata pforams@mikrotax - Beella digitata

Beella digitata

Classification: pf_cenozoic -> Globigerinidae -> Beella -> Beella digitata
Sister taxa: B. digitata, B. praedigitata, B. sp.

3D models from The Foraminarium, hosted on sketchfab


Citation: Beella digitata (Brady, 1879)
taxonomic rank: species
Basionym: Globigerina digitata Brady, 1879
Taxonomic discussion:

As shown already by Parker (1962), the characteristic chamber elongation is less well developed in small specimens. This has led some authors (e.g. Aze et al., 2011) to separate these forms as Beella megastoma (Earland, 1934) or consider the extinct ancestral Beella praedigitata (Parker, 1967) to persist to the present. The existence of the homonymous Hastigerinella digitata (Rhumbler, 1911) has created some confusion in the past, with both species being occasionally assigned to the same genera (Globigerinella, Hastigerina). [Brummer & Kucera 2022]

Catalog entries: Globigerina digitata, Beella chathamensis, Beella guadalupensis, Hastigerinella frailensis

Type images:

Distinguishing features:
Parent taxon (Beella): Digitate chambers:
This taxon: Chambers elongate, in adult specimens

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 medium to high trochospiral, 4 to 5 rapidly increasing chambers in the final whorl, chambers-initially spherical, soon becoming ovate and finally radially elongate; sutures distinct, depressed; surface consisting of a fine, irregularly cancellate pattern of raised ridges surrounding the circular to subcircular pores; the discrete tubercles surrounding the pores represent spine bases (PI. 58, Fig. 1). Aperture interiomarginal, umbilical-extraumbilical, a wide open arch, bordered by a thick lip. [Kennett & Srinivasan 1983]

Wall type:
Spinose; Irregularly cancellate [Aze 2011]


Character matrix
test outline:Stellatechamber arrangement:Trochospiraledge view:Inequally biconvexaperture:Umbilical-extraumbilical
sp chamber shape:Elongatecoiling axis:Lowperiphery:N/Aaperture border:Thin flange
umb chbr shape:Elongateumbilicus:Wideperiph margin shape:Broadly roundedaccessory apertures:None
spiral sutures:Moderately depressedumb depth:Deepwall texture:Cancellateshell porosity:Macroperforate: >2.5µm
umbilical or test sutures:Strongly depressedfinal-whorl chambers:4-5 N.B. These characters are used for advanced search. N/A - not applicable

Biogeography and Palaeobiology

Geographic distribution

Tropical to temperate. [Kennett & Srinivasan 1983] Low to middle latitudes [Aze et al. 2011, based on Kennett & Srinivasan (1983)]

In modern oceans a common, temperate water, species [SCOR WG138]

Map of distribution from ForCenS database

Isotope paleobiology
Aze et al. 2011 ecogroup 4 - Open ocean sub-thermocline. Based on very light δ13C and very heavy δ18O Cited sources (Aze et al. 2011 appendix S3): Coxall et al. (2007)

Phylogenetic relations
The height of the spire in B. digitata shows considerable variation with growth of the individual. There is a tendency toward streptospiral coiling in adult test, suggesting an affinity with Hastigerinella.
B. digitata developed from B. praedigitata, from which it differs in having the radially elongate chambers. [Kennett & Srinivasan 1983]

Molecular genetics: Genotypes recognised (data from PFR2 database, June 2017), one genotype only from 35 sequences; references: André et al. 2014; Weiner et al. 2014.

Most likely ancestor: Beella praedigitata - at confidence level 3 (out of 5). Data source: Kennett & Srinivasan 1983;Aze et al. 2011.
Likely descendants: Beella megastoma; plot with descendants

Biostratigraphic distribution

Geological Range:
Last occurrence (top): Extant. Data source: present in the plankton (SCOR WG138)
First occurrence (base): within N22 zone (0.00-1.93Ma, base in Gelasian stage). Data source: Chaisson & Pearson (1997)

Plot of occurrence data:

Primary source for this page: Kennett & Srinivasan 1983, p.232


André, A. et al. (2014). SSU rDNA Divergence in Planktonic Foraminifera: Molecular Taxonomy and Biogeographic Implications. PLoS One. 9: e104641-. gs

Aze, T. et al. (2011). A phylogeny of Cenozoic macroperforate planktonic foraminifera from fossil data. Biological Reviews. 86: 900-927. gs

Brady, H. B. (1879). Notes on some of the reticularian Rhizopoda of the "Challenger" expedition. I.- On new or little known arenaceous types. Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science. 19: 20-63. gs

Brummer, G-J. A. & Kucera, M. (2022). Taxonomic review of living planktonic foraminifera. Journal of Micropalaeontology. 41: 29-74. gs

Coxall, H. K., Wilson, P. A., Pearson, P. N. & Sexton, P. F. (2007). Iterative evolution of digitate planktonic foraminifera. Paleobiology. 33: 495-516. gs

Kennett, J. P. & Srinivasan, M. S. (1983). Neogene Planktonic Foraminifera. Hutchinson Ross Publishing Co., Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. 1-265. gs

Lam, A. & Leckie, R. M. (2020a). Late Neogene and Quaternary diversity and taxonomy of subtropical to temperate planktic foraminifera across the Kuroshio Current Extension, northwest Pacific Ocean. Micropaleontology. 66(3): 177-268. gs

Loeblich, A. & Tappan, H. (1994). Foraminifera of the Sahul shelf and Timor Sea. Cushman Foundation for Foraminiferal Research, Special Publication. 31: 1-661. gs O

Norris, R. D. (1998). Planktonic foraminifer biostratigraphy: Eastern Equatorial Atlantic. Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results. 159: 445-479. gs O

Parker, F. L. (1962). Planktonic foraminiferal species in Pacific sediments. Micropaleontology. 8(2): 219-254. gs

Saito, T., Thompson, P. R. & Breger, D. (1976). Skeletal ultra-microstructure of some elongate-chambered planktonic foraminifera and related species. In, Takayanagi, Y. & Saito, T. (eds) Progress in Micropaleontology, Special Publication. Micropaleontology Press, The American Museum of Natural History, New York 278-304. gs

Siccha, M. & Kucera, M. (2017). ForCenS, a curated database of planktonic foraminifera census counts in marine surface sediment samples. Scientific Data. 4(1): 1-12. gs

Weiner, A. K. M., Weinkauf, M. F. G., Kurasawa, A., Darling, K. F., Kucera, M. & Grimm, G. W. (2014). Phylogeography of the tropical planktonic foraminifera lineage Globigerinella reveals isolation inconsistent with passive dispersal by ocean currents. PLoS One. 9: e92148-. gs


Beella digitata compiled by the pforams@mikrotax project team viewed: 16-4-2024

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Comments (2)



According to the Geographic distribution map above, Beella digitata exists in the Eastern Mediterranean. Did I get right?

Jeremy Young(UK)

Yes - the red dots indicate samples where the species has been recorded. Go to Tools/Holocene bigeography maps to see the plot in detail, with all the explanations