pforams@mikrotax - Introduction to the Neogene & Extant Database - UNDER CONSTRUCTION!


There are special problems with constructing a database of Neogene planktonic foraminifera, since this fauna has not been systematically revised for a long time. This is in contrast to the Paleogene where working groups have produced definitive syntheses of taxonomy for the Paleocene (Olsson et al. 1999), Eocene (Pearson et al. 2006) and Oligocene (Wade et al. submitted). Additionally it should be noted that the revised taxonomy of the Oligocene will affect many Neogene taxa. Since the Neogene is being constructed from diverse sources, and is liable to be substantially revised, we have decided to develop it initially as a separate module from the rest of the Cenozoic, with a first working version going live in late 2016. The site will then be developed and reviewed through 2017. Late in 2017 we anticipate that the Oligocene Atlas will be published and content from it will then be incorporated into this website. We hope that at that stage the Neogene module will be sufficiently developed to allow it be merged into the main Cenozoic database.

Scope of the Neogene and Extant Database

This module is intended to provide a reasonably comprehensive synthesis of Neogene and Extant planktonic foraminifera, but excluding taxa which occur in the Oligocene. These taxa are not included since they are covered in detail in the Oligocene atlas (Wade et al. submitted). This exclusion primarily affects the globigerinids and longer ranging taxa, it does not affect many stratigraphic marker species.

Taxonomy adopted

The taxonomy used here was derived as follows:
  1. The initial list was taken from the evolutionary synthesis of Aze et al. (2011).
  2. For the extant species this was supplemented by the taxonomy developed by SCOR Working Group 138.
  3. Additionally the revisions of Spezzaferri et al. (2015) have been followed - notably including use of the genus Trilobus.
  4. The classic reviews of Bolli & Saunders (1985) and Kennett & Srinivasan (1983) were compared to identify missing species.
  5. Streptochilus species were added from the work of Smart & Thomas (2007) and Resig (1989)
  6. Within Globorotalia (sensu lato) it was decided to informally subdivide species into lineages as generally accepted (e.g. Aze et al. 2011) but not to use the generic (or subgeneric) names, since these have not yet been validly proposed.
  7. Taxa which originate in the Oligocene were removed from the list (as explained above).

Sources of content

The major content sources we have used are:
  1. Aze et al. (2011) - the appendix of tabulated data on species, morphology, ecology and ranges. Where appropriate we have cited both Aze et al. (2011) as the source for the data and indicated the original publications from which the data was derived by Aze et al. (2011).
  2. Kennett & Srinivasan (1983) - images of taxa and taxon descriptions - with permission from Prof J. Kennett.
  3. Postuma (1971) - drawings of taxa and thin sections of oriented specimens.
  4. Catalog of original descriptions - in a parallel effort we are extending coverage of the catalog database to include Neogene and extant taxa. Illustrations of type speciemens are being added both from original publications and from new SEM images (ongoing project of Brian Huber). These images are automatically included in the Neogene pages as they become available.
  5. Neptune database occurrence records. As in the other parts of the pforams@mikrotax database records from the Neptune database are synthesised on the bottom of each page. For the Neogene the database of records is extensive so the occurrence records should be informative, although they certainly do contain some incorrect data (see explanation).

Missing content

Major areas where content is currently missing include:

Comments and corrections

As explained this is a work in progress and so comments and corrections are especially welcome. Comments can be added at the bottom of any page and these will also appear on the recent comments page. ALL comments will be carefully reviewed and whenever relevant acted upon.

Jeremy Young, Bridget Wade, Paul Bown, UCL, Dec 2016.


Aze, T.; Ezard, T.H.G.; Purvis, A.; Coxall, H.K.; Stewart, D.R.M.; Wade, B.S. & Pearson, P.N.P., (2011). A phylogeny of Cenozoic macroperforate planktonic foraminifera from fossil data. Biological Reviews, 86: 900-927.

Bolli, H.M. & Saunders, J.B., (1985). Oligocene to Holocene low latitude planktic foraminifera. In: Bolli, H.M., Saunders, J.B. and Perch-Neilsen, K. (Editors), Plankton Stratigraphy. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp. 155-262.

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

Olsson, R.K.; Hemleben, C.; Berggren, W.A. & Huber, B.T., (1999). Atlas of Paleocene Planktonic Foraminifera. Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, 1-252 pp. 

Pearson, P.N.; Olsson, R.K.; Hemleben, C.; Huber, B.T. & Berggren, W.A. (Editors), (2006). Atlas of Eocene Planktonic Foraminifera, Cushman Foundation Special Publication. Allen Press, Lawrence, Kansas. 

Postuma, J. (1971). Manual of planktonic foraminifera. Shell Group, The Hague. 406p.

Resig, J.M., (1989). Stratigraphic distribution of late Neogene species of the planktonic foraminifer Streptochilus in the Indo-Pacific. Micropaleontology, 35(49-62).

Smart, C.W. & Thomas, E., (2007). Emendation of the genus Streptochilus Brönnimann and Resig 1971 (Foraminifera) and new species from the lower Miocene of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Micropaleontology, 53(1-2): 73-103, 3 figures, 13 plates, 1 table.

Spezzaferri, S. & others, (2015). Fossil and genetic evidence for the polyphyletic nature of the planktonic foraminifera "Globigerinoides", and description of the new genus Trilobatus. PLOS one: 1-20.