Type Species

Coccosphaera pelagica Wallich 1877


Cyatolithus Huxley, 1868 [petition was submitted to suppress Cyatolithus in favour of Coccolithus by Braarud et al., 1964, pending]

Coccosphaera Wallich, 1877

Cyathosphaera Haeckel, 1894

Coccolithophora Lohmann, 1902

Crystallolithus Gaarder & Markali, 1957 [holococcolith phase]

Ericsonia Black, 1964


Elliptical to circular placolith having a tube cycle, single distal and double-cycle proximal shields. The tube cycle and proximal shield are birefringent.

Size dependant elliptical species of Coccolithus

Coccolithus paralitos <4.0µm

Coccolithus pelagicus 4.00-10.0µm

Coccolithus crassus 10.0 - 13.0µm

Coccolithus cf. miopelagicus 13.0 - 14.0µm

Coccolithus miopelagicus >14.0µm [having relatively small central area]

Coccolithus eopelagicus >14.0µm [having a relatively large central area]


Coccolithus differs from Mauriceblackia Varol, in prep. and Deniseae Varol, by having a vertical suture between the tube cycle and the shields. In contrast, Mauriceblackia has a diagonal and Deniseae has horizontal sutures. The species of Coccolithus is identified based on the overall size, presence or absence of central opening and the nature of the central structure. Based on the size following species are identified in Coccolithus.


Black, M., (1964): Cretaceous and Tertiary coccoliths from Atlantic seamounts. Palaeontology. 7: 306-316.

Braarud, T., Bramlette, M.N., Deflandre, G., Kamptner, E., Loeblich, Jr., A.R., Martini, E., & Tappan, H., (1964): Rhabdosphaera Haeckel, 1894 (Coccolithophorida): proposed validation under the plenary powers and designation of a lectotype for Coccolithus oceanicus Schwarz, 1894. Z.N. (S.) 1658. -Bull. Zool. Nomencl., 21:397-400

Gaarder, K. R. & Markali, J., (1956): On the coccolithophorid Crystallolithus hyalinus n. gen, n. sp. - Nytt Magasin for Botanikk. 5: 1-5.

Haeckel, E., (1894): Systematische Phylogenie der Protisten und Pflanzen. Reimer, Berlin.

Huxley, T. H., (1868): On some organisms living at great depths in the North Atlantic Ocean. - Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science. 8: 203-212.

Lohmann, H., (1902): Die Coccolithophoridae, eine Monographie der Coccolithen bildenden Flagellaten, zugleich ein Beitrag zur Kenntnis des Mittelmeerauftriebs. - Archiv für Protistenkunde. 1: 89-165

Schwarz, E. H. L., (1894): Coccoliths. - Annals and Magazine of Natural History. 14: 341-346.

Wallich, G. C., (1877): Observations on the coccosphere. - Annals and Magazine of Natural History. 19: 342-350.