Guembelitrioides nuttalli

Classification: pf_cenozoic -> spinose -> Globigerinidae -> Guembelitrioides -> Guembelitrioides nuttalli
Sister taxa: G. nuttalli,


Citation: Guembelitrioides nuttalli (Hamilton 1953)
Rank: Species
Basionym: Globigerinoides nuttalli
Taxonomic discussion: Guembelitrioides nuttalli is a common constituent of middle Eocene assemblages but has generally been described under the name Globigerinoides higginsi Bolli. This species displays some morphological variability of the number of chambers and height of the spire, the range of which is well exemplified by both nuttalli and higginsi holotypes. Other variable features are the possible presence of more than one supplementary aperture, the size of the last chamber and the primary aperture and possible presence of a bulla-like final chamber. Stainforth and others (1975) included higginsi in the genus Globigerina as they did not consider the presence of secondary sutural apertures of generic importance. Pujol (1983) illustrated a high-spired specimen as Globigerina higginsi, which is not conspecific with G. nuttalli and resembles Subbotina gortanii. Warraich and Ogasawara (2001) also figured a high-spired specimen that also resembles S. gortanii. [Olsson et al. 2006]

Catalog entries: Globigerinoides nuttalli;

Type images:

Short diagnosis: The very high spire, lobate periphery, globular chambers and supplementary apertures typically characterize this species. Moreover, Hamilton (1953) clearly described the wall surface with typically hexagonal pore structures. Specimens from Tanzania show spine holes and spines embedded in the wall, indicating that it was spinose in life (Pearson and others, 2004; Premoli Silva and others, Chapter 7, this volume).

NB The short diagnoses are used in the tables of daughter-taxa to act as quick summaries of the differences between e.g. species of one genus. They have initially been copied from the diagnostic characters/distinguishing features sections of the Eocene and Paleocene Atlases, they will be edited as the site is developed.


Diagnostic characters: The very high spire, lobate periphery, globular chambers and supplementary apertures typically characterize this species. Moreover, Hamilton (1953) clearly described the wall surface with typically hexagonal pore structures. Specimens from Tanzania show spine holes and spines embedded in the wall, indicating that it was spinose in life (Pearson and others, 2004; Premoli Silva and others, Chapter 7, this volume). [Olsson et al. 2006]

Wall type: Cancellate, spinose, sacculifertype, reticulate wall. [Olsson et al. 2006]

Test morphology: Test trochospiral, initially moderately high spired to helicospiral late in ontogeny; chambers globigeriniform, mainly spherical, increasing rather rapidly in size as added, the last one often somewhat ovate, 9-10 to occasionaly 15, arranged in 2½ to 3 loosely coiled whorls; periphery of the last whorls strongly lobate; sutures radial, ranging from moderately depressed in the initial spire to strongly depressed in the adult; umbilicus narrow and deep sometimes covered by a bulla of variable size; primary aperture a medium high arch, umbilical in position; one to more supplementary apertures may be present along the sutures on the spiral side of the final whorl(s). [Olsson et al. 2006]

Size: Holotype height 0.48 mm, width 0.45 mm; largest diameter of higginsi holotype 0.55 mm. [Olsson et al. 2006]

Character matrix

test outline:Lobatecoiling axis:Moderate-highchamber arrangement:Trochospiralumbilicus:Narrow
edge view:Inequally biconvexumbilical or test sutures:Strongly depressedspiral sutures:Strongly depressedshell porosity:Finely Perforate: 1-2.5
wall texture:aperture:Umbilicalaperture border:N/Aaccessory apertures:Sutural
periphery:N/Aumb chamber shape:Globularsp chbr shape:Globularperiph margin shape:Broadly rounded
umb depth:Deepdiameter mm:0.48width mm:0.45breadth mm:
final-whorl chambers:4.0-4.0

Biogeography and Palaeobiology

Geographic distribution: Mid to low [Olsson et al. 2006]
Aze et al. 2011 summary: Low to middle latitudes; based on Olsson et al. (2006c)

Isotope paleobiology: Guembelitrioides nuttalli has carbon and oxygen stable isotopic characters intermediate between the muricate species and the subbotinids, suggesting an intermediate depth habitat (Pearson and others, 1993). [Olsson et al. 2006]
Aze et al. 2011 ecogroup 3 - Open ocean thermocline. Based on light δ13C and relatively heavy δ18O. Sources cited by Aze et al. 2011 (appendix S3): Pearson et al. (1993)

Phylogenetic relations: Hillebrandt (1976) considered Bolli’s types of G. higginsi as conspecific with Globigerina lozanoi Colom, but he later (1976) stated that G. higginsi (= G. nuttalli) was descended from lozanoi. Further, Blow (1979, p. 863) suggested that there are transitional forms between lozanoi and higginsi (= nuttalli). According to him, “both taxa are very similar in dorsal morphology” and the “trends involved are merely confined to a simple increase in the height of the trochospire and the acquisition of supplementary apertures on spiral side” with both lozanoi and higginsi (= nuttalli) morphotypes coexisting in Zone P9 (= E7). However, we disagree that G. nuttalli is derived from lozanoi. It is difficult to see the derivation of the 4-chambered, spinose, highly lobulate nuttalli from the 6-chambered, nonspinose, slightly lobulate lozanoi. Furthermore, G. nuttalli has a high porosity, cancellate sacculifer-type wall that also occurs in Parasubbotina inaequispira, which is a highly lobulate taxon. We believe that P. inaequispira is a more likely ancestor of Guembelitrioides, but intermediate forms have yet to be found. Subbotina yeguaensis is also a possible ancestral taxon since it has a lobulate test with a moderately elevated initial spire, although it is not as lobulate as P. inaequispira.
Blow (1979) also suggested that higginsi (= nuttalli) may be ancestral to Globigerinatheka mexicana (= Porticulasphaera in Blow 1979). This relationship, however, is rejected here, as transitional forms between G. nuttalli and G. mexicana have not been observed. Nevertheless G. nuttalli is regarded by us as the most likely ancestor of the Globigerinatheka group (see Premoli Silva and others, Chapter 7, this volume). [Olsson et al. 2006]

Biostratigraphic distribution

Geological Range:
Notes: Base E8 to top E10. [Olsson et al. 2006]
The LAD of Guembilitriodes nuttalli marks the base of zone E11 / top of E10 (Wade et al. 2011)
Last occurrence (top): at top of E10 zone (100% up, 41.9Ma, in Lutetian stage). Data source: zonal marker (Wade et al. 2011)
First occurrence (base): at base of E8 zone (0% up, 45.7Ma, in Lutetian stage). Data source: zonal marker (Wade et al. 2011)

Plot of occurrence data:

Primary source for this page: Olsson et al. 2006 - Atlas of Eocene Planktonic Foraminifera, chapter 5, p. 84


Blow, W.H., (1979). The Cainozoic Globigerinida: A study of the morphology, taxonomy, evolutionary relationships and stratigraphical distribution of some Globigerinida (mainly Globigerinacea). E. J. Brill, Leiden, 1413 pp.

Bolli, H.M., (1957). Planktonic foraminifera from the Oligocene-Miocene Cipero and Lengua formations of Trinidad, B.W.I. In: Loeblich, A.R., Jr. et al. (Editors), Studies in Foraminifera: U.S. National Museum Bulletin 215. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, pp. 97-123.

Hamilton, E.L., (1953). Upper Cretaceous, Tertiary, and Recent planktonic foraminifera from mid-Pacific flat-topped seamounts. . Journal of Paleontology, 27(2): 204-237.

Hillebrandt, A., (1976). Los foraminiferos planctonicos, nummulitidos y coccolitoforidos de la zona de Globorotalia palmerae del Cuisiense (Eoceno inferior) en el SE de Espana, (Provincias de Murcia y Alicante. Revista Española de Micropaleontología, 8(3): 323-394.

later 1976 [sorry, not in our bibliography yet]tep

Nocchi, M.; Amici, E. & Premoli Silva, I., (1991). Planktonic foraminiferal biostratigraphy and paleoenvironmental interpretation of Paleogene faunas from the subantarctic transect, Leg 114. In: Ciesielski, P.F., Kristoffersen, Y. and al., e. (Editors), Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Scientific Results. Ocean Drilling Program, College Station, Texas, pp. 233-273.

Olsson, R.K.; Pearson, P.N. & Huber, B.T., (2006). Taxonomy, biostratigraphy, and phylogeny of Eocene Catapsydrax, Globorotaloides, Guembelitrioides, Paragloborotalia, Parasubbotina, and Pseudoglobigerinella n. gen. In: Pearson, P.N. et al. (Editors), Atlas of Eocene Planktonic Foraminifera, Cushman Foundation Special Publication 41. Cushman Foundation Special Publication. Allen Press, Lawrence, Kansas, pp. 67-110.

Pearson, P.N.; Shackleton, N.J. & Hall, M.A., (1993). Stable isotope paleoecology of middle Eocene planktonic foraminifera and multi-species isotope stratigraphy, DSDP Site 523, South Atlantic. Journal of Foraminiferal Research, 23: 123-140.

Pearson, P.N. & others, (2004). Paleogene and Cretaceous sediment cores from the Kilwa and Lindi areas of coastal Tanzania: Tanzania Drilling Project Sites 1–5. Journal of African Earth Sciences, 39: 25-62.

Poag, C.W. & Commeau, J.A., (1995). Paleocene to middle Miocene planktic foraminifera of the southwestern Salisbury Embayment, Virginia and Maryland: Biostratigraphy, allostratigraphy, and sequence stratigraphy. Journal of Foraminiferal Research, 25: 134-155.

Pujol, C., (1983). Cenozoic planktonic foraminiferal biostratigraphy of the South-Western Atlantic (Rio Grande Rise): Deep Sea Drilling Project Leg 72. Initial Reports of the Deep Sea Drilling Project, 72: 623-673.

Stainforth, R.M.; Lamb, J.L.; Luterbacher, H.; Beard, J.H. & Jeffords, R.M., (1975). Cenozoic planktonic foraminiferal zonation and characteristics of index forms. The University of Kansas Paleontological Contributions, 62: 1-425.

Toumarkine, M., (1975). Middle and Late Eocene planktonic foraminifera from the northwestern Pacific Ocean: Leg 32 of the Deep Sea Drilling Project. Initial Reports of the Deep Sea Drilling Project, 32: 735-751.

Toumarkine, M., (1983). Les Foraminifères planctoniques de l’Eocène moyen et supérieur des régions tropicales à temperées chaudes. PhD Thesis, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris 6, 83-05, 1-219 pp.

Wade et al 2012 [sorry, not in our bibliography yet]tep

Warraich, M.Y. & Ogasawara, K., (2001). Tethyan Paleocene-Eocene planktic foraminifera from the Rakhi Nala and Zinda Pir land sections of the Sulaiman Range, Pakistan. Science Reports of the Institute of Geosciences, University of Tsukuba, Section B = Geological Sciences, 22: 1-59.

Guembelitrioides nuttalli compiled by the pforams@mikrotax project team viewed: 24-3-2017

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