Abstract

Globotruncanita insignis (Gandolfi, 1955) is a planktonic species commonly recognized in Late Cretaceous foraminiferal assemblages, but uncertainty about its morphologic variability and phyletic relationships have led to different interpretations of it. The taxon was considered to be morphologically and evolutionary related to Globotruncana rosetta (Carsey, 1926), phyletically linked to Globotruncanita elevata (Brotzen, 1934), or a junior synonym of the latter species. In addition, the neotype that replaced the lost holotype caused a taxonomic debate and compromised the identification of G. insignis, which has been assigned to both Globotruncanita and Globotruncana. This study resolves the taxonomic problems and reconstructs the phyletic lineage of this species on the basis of a continuous sequence of exceptionally well preserved and highly diversified planktonic foraminiferal assemblages in the Contusotruncana plummerae and Radotruncana calcarata zones, recently recovered from southeastern Tanzania drillholes. In addition to common G. insignis that characteristically have a strongly convex umbilical side, we recognized succession of morphotypes intermediate between Globotruncanita stuartiformis and G. insignis that demonstrates an ancestor–descendant relationship between the two taxa and further validates the assignment of G. insignis to Globotruncanita. Moreover, our results confirm that the neotype falls in the same phyletic lineage, but it represents a primitive form of G. insignis.

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