Establishing an Agenda for Calcareous Dinoflagellate Research (Thoracosphaeraceae, Dinophyceae) including a nomenclatural synopsis of generic names

Malte Elbrächter, Marc Gottschling, Tania Hildebrand-Habel, Helmut Keupp, Rolf Kohring, Jane Lewis, K. J.Sebastian Meier, Marina Montresor, Michael Streng, Gerard J.M. Versteegh, Helmut Willems, Karin Zonneveld

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


Calcareous dinoflagellates are considered to be a monophyletic group of peridinoid taxa that have the potential to produce calcified exoskeletal structures during the life cycle, or that derive from such forms. Frequently, these calcareous bodies are excellently preserved in the fossil record and have received increased attention during the past three decades with regard to their use in biostratigraphy, climate and environmental reconstruction. Fossil and extant taxa have been classified in various, partly concurring, systematic concepts, using character complexes of the theca, cyst wall ultrastructure and archaeopyle/operculum morphology. The significance of such character complexes is briefly discussed in the light of molecular data that have been accumulated during the past decade. Over the years, the number of published taxonomic names has increased, partly due to nomenclatural changes. We propose that the entirety of calcareous dinoflagellates, and non-calcareous relatives derived from them, is accommodated in a single family of the order Peridiniales, the Thoracosphaeraceae, combining the former segregated taxonomic units Calciodinelloideae, a subfamily within Peridiniaceae, and Thoracosphaerales, a separate dinoflagellate order. As a result of a meeting of calcareous dinoflagellate specialists, we outline major subjects that are in need of re-investigation and -evaluation (an Agenda for Calcareous Dinoflagellate Research). In order to contribute to a consistent and stable nomenclature and taxonomy of calcareous dinoflagellates, we list 97 published generic names assigned to known calcareous dinoflagellates in a nomenclatural synopsis, with species names indicating their types and information on type locality and stratigraphy. We evaluate the status of these names - whether validly published and, if so, whether legitimate -, a crucial first step for any revisionary work in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1289-1303
Number of pages15
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2008


  • Calcareous dinophytes
  • Checklist
  • Thoracosphaeraceae


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