Specimen of Oolina, from

Belongs within: Polymorphinida.

The Glandulinidae are a group of forams known from from the Jurassic to the present, characterised by the presence of a simple internal tube behind the terminal aperture (Loeblich & Tappan 1964).

The glandulinid position
Published 25 September 2020

In an earlier post, I described how the majority of modern multi-chambered foraminiferans can be divided between two lineages, the Tubothalamea and Globothalamea. The two groups generally differ in the shape of the first chamber following the proloculus (the central embryonic chamber of the test): in one, this chamber is tubular whereas in the other it is globular or crescent-shaped (guess which is which). But there is a third notable group of multi-chambered forams: the Nodosariata. In both tubothalameans and globothalameans, the chambers more or less coil around the proloculus to form a spiral. In the Nodosariata, the test is more or less linear with apical chamber apertures. The chambers may be successively stacked one after the other to form a uniserial test, or they may be arranged in a zig-zag or twirling arrangement to form biserial, triserial, etc. arrangments. In living Nodosariata, the wall of the test is made of a single layer of hyaline calcite though some earlier representatives (up to the end of the Jurassic) had differing wall make-ups (Rigaud et al. 2016). Among the numerous notable representatives of the Nodosariata in the modern fauna are representatives of the family Glandulinidae.

Series of Glandulina ovula, from Brady (1884).

Species have been assigned to the Glandulinidae going back to the Jurassic with the modern genus Glandulina recognisable in the Palaeocene (Loeblich & Tappan 1964). The test may be uniserial, biserial or polymorphine (more than two series); a common arrangement is for the test to start out biserial or polymorphine then become uniserial as the individual chambers become larger. In Glandulina, the microspheric generation starts biserial but the megalospheric form is uniserial throughout (Taylor et al. 1985). As the test grows, the internal walls between chambers may be resorbed. The terminal aperture of the test may be radial or slit-like. The most characteristic feature of the family is a tube running into the chamber from the inside of the aperture, referred to as the entosolenian tube. Some glandulinids have been described as lacking an entosolenian tube but such absences are likely artefacts of preservation: the delicate tube is easily dislodged during the fossilisation process (Taylor et al. 1985).

The overall relationships of the Nodosariata remain a question open to investigation. The classification of forams by Loeblich & Tappan (1964) included both multi-chambered and single-chambered (unilocular) forms within the Glandulinidae, with the unilocular forms placed in a subfamily Oolininae. Oolinines resemble glandulinids proper in a number of features including wall structure and the presence of an entosolenian tube. More recent authors, however, have rejected this relationship. Rigaud et al. (2016) entirely excluded unilocular forms from the Nodosariata as a whole, regarding it as improbable that single-chambered forms could have evolved from multi-chambered ancestors (as would seemingly be required by their relative appearances in the fossil record). Do the similarities between glandulinids and oolinines reflect a common ancestry, or are they the result of simple convergence? Unfortunately, with so few significant characters available to inform our understanding of foram higher relationships, the answer you prefer may come down to no more than your own personal feelings about which indicators are more reliable.

Systematics of Glandulinidae

Characters (from Loeblich & Tappan 1964): Test unilocular or with chambers in biserial, uniserial or polymorphine arrangement; aperture terminal, radial or slitlike, with simple, straight or curved internal (entosolenian) tube.

|--Entolingulina Loeblich & Tappan 1961LT64 [EntolingulininaeM13]
| `--*E. aselliformis (Buchner 1942) [=Lingulina aselliformis]LT64
|--Bombulina Mikhalevich 1983M13
|--Dainita Loeblich & Tappan 1964 [=Mariella Dain in Bykova et al. 1958 non Nowak 1916]LT64
| `--*D. sibirica (Dain in Bykova et al. 1958) [=*Mariella sibirica]LT64
|--Esosyrinx Loeblich & Tappan 1953LT64
| `--*E. curta (Cushman & Ozawa 1930) [=Pseudopolymorphina curta]LT64
|--Globulotuba Collins 1958LT64
| `--*G. entosoleniformis Collins 1958LT64
|--Laryngosigma Loeblich & Tappan 1953LT64
| `--*L. hyalascidia Loeblich & Tappan 1953LT64
|--Oolitella Makiyama & Nakagawa 1941LT64
| `--*O. irregularis Makiyama & Nakgawa 1941LT64
|--Siphonoglobulina Parr 1950LT64
| `--*S. siphonifera Parr 1950LT64
`--Glandulina d’Orbigny in de la Sagra 1839 (see below for synonymy)LT64
|--*G. laevigata (d’Orbigny 1826) [=Nodosaria (Glanduline) laevigata, *Atractolina laevigata]LT64
|--G. antarcticaPHT13
|--G. apertaB49
|--G. deformis Costa 1853 [=Dimorphina deformis, Ellipsopolymorphina deformis]LT64
|--*Psecadium’ ellipticum Neugeboren 1856LT64
|--*Encorycium’ nodosaria Ehrenberg 1858LT64
`--G. symmetricaJW99

Glandulinidae incertae sedis:
‘Lingulina’ armata Sidebottom 1907LT61
‘Lingulina bicarinata f. nasuta Buchner 1942]LT61
‘Lingulina carinata var.’ biloculi Wright 1911LT61
‘Lingulina’ cornigera Buchner 1942LT61
‘Lingulina’ cucullifera Buchner 1942LT61
‘Lingulina’ falcata Heron-Allen & Earland 1932LT61
‘Lingulina’ herdmanni Chaster 1892LT61
‘Lingulina’ inarimensis Buchner 1942LT61
‘Lingulina’ lagenoides Buchner 1942LT61
‘Lingulina’ translucida Heron-Allen & Earland 1932LT61
‘Lingulina’ tubulata Buchner 1942LT61
Glandulinoides Hu 1977HW93

Glandulina d’Orbigny in de la Sagra 1839 [=Atractolina von Schlicht 1870; incl. Encorycium Ehrenberg 1858, Psecadium Neugeboren 1856]LT64

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B49] Battey, M. H. 1949. The geology of the Tuakau-Mercer area, Auckland. Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand 77 (3): 429–455.

[HW93] Hart, M. B., & C. L. Williams. 1993. Protozoa. In: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Fossil Record 2 pp. 43–70. Chapman & Hall: London.

[JW99] Jian, Z.-M., L.-J. Wang, M. Kienast, M. Sarnthein, W. Kuhnt, H.-L. Lin & P.-X. Wang. 1999. Benthic foraminiferal paleoceanography of the South China Sea over the last 40,000 years. Marine Geology 156: 159–186.

[LT61] Loeblich, A. R., Jr & H. Tappan. 1961. Remarks on the systematics of the Sarkodina (Protozoa), renamed homonyms and new and validated genera. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 74: 213–234.

[LT64] Loeblich, A. R., Jr & H. Tappan. 1964. Sarcodina: chiefly “thecamoebians” and Foraminiferida. In: Moore, R. C. (ed.) Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology pt C. Protista 2 vol. 2. The Geological Society of America and The University of Kansas Press.

[PHT13] Pawlowski, J., M. Holzmann & J. Tyszka. 2013. New supraordinal classification of Foraminifera: molecules meet morphology. Marine Micropalaeontology 100: 1–10.

Rigaud, S., D. Vachard, F. Schlagintweit & R. Martini. 2016. New lineage of Triassic aragonitic Foraminifera and reassessment of the class Nodosariata. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 14 (11): 919–938.

Taylor, S. H., R. T. Patterson & H.-W. Choi. 1985. Occurrence and reliability of internal morphologic features in some Glandulinidae (Foraminiferida). Journal of Foraminiferal Research 15 (1): 18–23.

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