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Volume 64, 1935
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Tertiary Foraminifera from Chalky Island, S.W. New Zealand

[Read before Otago Institute August 8, 1933; received by the Editor September 6, 1933; issued separately, September, 1934.]


The foraminifera here described were collected on Chalky Island, one of the islands in the fiord region of New Zealand, by the expedition organised by Professor W. N. Benson, of the University of Otago, to study the geology of Chalky and Preservation Inlets. For the opportunity of investigating them I am indebted to Professor Benson and to Professor J. A. Bartrum, of Auckland University College, to both of whom I offer my sincere thanks. I also desire to express my appreciation of the assistance my friend, Mr Frederick Chapman, the Australian Commonwealth Palaeontologist, has given in the identification of several species and in taking the photographs illustrating this paper.

The rock in which the foraminifera occur is a hard grey-white marl, with included patches of grit which, in one sample of material, is present as a thin layer of calcareous sandstone. Owing to its compact nature, the foraminifera have necessarily been examined in thin sections of the material. Specific determination is, therefore, not possible in the majority of cases, but a very interesting series has, nevertheless, been obtained. Specimens are fairly common, and it is noteworthy that the larger species occur in the grittier portions of the rock, apparently as the result of the concentration of the larger particles of sediment by current action. The genera best represented are Cibicides and Amphistegina. The most striking discovery, however, is a new species of Halkyardia, a genus of which there appear to be only two previous records, both from the Middle Eocene of Europe. There are also several examples of the typically Upper Cretaceous genus Gümbelina. Associated with the foraminifera are small polyzoans, echinoid spines, ostracoda, and siliceous sponge spicules of the genera Spirastrella?, Geodites, Corallistes, Pachastrella, and a Dictyonine hexactinellid. These sponges have all been recorded previously by Hinde and Holmes (1892, pp. 178–262) from the Tertiary of the Oamaru district and are also known from present-day seas.

A preliminary list of the foraminifera has been included by Professor Benson in his report on the stratigraphy of the area, which has already been published (Benson, 1933, p. 426). One or two alterations to this have been made in the list given below.

The foraminifera are generally characteristic of warm water of moderate depth. Judged by them, the age of the deposit is probably Middle Tertiary. The assemblage most closely resembles some of those recorded by Mr Chapman and by myself from the

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Waitemata beds in the vicinity of Auckland, in which we have a similar association of such species as Amphistegina sp. aff. lessonii, Vulvulina sp. aff. pennatula (this is known only from the Miocene of the North Island), Spiroplectammina parallela, Ammodiscus sp. aff. incertus, and Rotalia sp. aff. calcar. The important genus Amphistegina is, as has been pointed out previously by Chapman and others, particularly typical of Miocene deposits. In South-Eastern Australia it is confined to the Miocene, and, according to Chapman (1926, p. 90), is, in New Zealand, best represented in the Miocene. An older element in the Chalky Island fauna is supplied by Gümbelina which, although generally found in the Upper Cretaceous, is known definitely to occur in the Eocene and has been recorded by Schubert (as Pseudotextularia) from the Miocene of the Bismarck Archipelago. Halkyardia has not been considered in this discussion, as so little is known of its distribution. It is probable, however, that this will be found to be similar to that of the closely-related Linderina, which, in Europe, is, like Halkyardia, an Eocene form, but, in the East Indies, occurs in the Miocene.

List of Species.

1. ? Marsipella elongata Norman rare
2. Ammodiscus sp. aff. incertus (d'Orbigny) rare
3. Spiroplectammina parallela Cushman 1
4. Textularia sp. 1
5. Vulvulina sp. aff. pennatula (Batsch) 1
6. Verneuilina sp. aff. bradyi Cushman 1
7. Nodosaria parexilis Cushman and K. C. Stewart 1
8. Nodosaria antipodum Stache rare
9. Melonis pompilioides (Fichtel and Moll) 1
10. Elphidium sp. aff. macellum (Fichtel and Moll) rare
11. Gümbelina sp. cf. globulosa (Ehrenberg) rare
12. Bulimina sp. cf. pyrula d'Orbigny 1
13. B. sp. 1
14. Bolivina sp. A. rare
15. B. sp. B. 1
16. Uvigerina sp. aff. interrupta Brady 1
17. Pullenia sphaeroides (d'Orb.) 1
18. Rotalia sp. aff. calcar (d'Orbigny) 1
19. Amphistegina sp. aff. lessonii d'Orb. common
20. Globigerina sp. A. common
21. G. sp. B. frequent
22. Cibicides refulgens Montfort common
23. C. sp. rare
24. Planorbulina sp. rare
25. Halkyardia bartrumi, sp. nov. common
26. Gypsina sp. cf. howchini Chapman 1
27. Carpenteria proteiformis Goës 1

Notes on the More Important Species.

? Marsipella elongata Norman.

In the rock sections there are several examples of a tubular, agglutinated foraminifer, the wall of which consists almost wholly of short fragments of siliceous sponge spicules fitted together to form a more or less diagonal meshwork. The only species showing a similar wall structure appears to be Marsipella elongata Norman, in which,

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however, the spicules are less regularly arranged and there is a large percentage of sand grains also used, although it is variable in this respect.

Ammodiscus sp. aff. incertus (d'Orbigny).

This form is represented by one free megalospheric specimen and two sections. The same species is common in the Awamoan (Lower Miocene) of the Gisborne district, in the North Island. It differs from typical A. incertus in having the last whorl in the adult slightly uncoiled.

Spiroplectammina parallela Cushman.

Spiroplecta annectens Brady (non Textularia annectens Parker and Jones), 1884, p. 376, pl. xlv, figs. 22, 23a, b. Schubert, 1911, p. 52. Chapman, 1926, p. 31, pl. viii, fig. 1.
Spiroplectammina parallela Cushman, 1931, p. 26, pl. iv, figs. 1a, b.

A fine example, cut in the median plane, occurs in a rock section sent by Professor Bartrum. This species has recently been shown to be distinct from the Liassic form described by Parker and Jones as Textularia annectens, which has a different development and is now placed in the genus Spiroplectinata.

The type specimens of S. parallela were from the Late Tertiary of Fiji. The species was dredged by the “Challenger” Expedition as a living form off Raine Island, Torres Strait, at a depth of 155 fathoms. Chapman's record quoted above is from the Upper Eocene of New Zealand, and that of Schubert from the Miocene of New Mecklenburg, in the Bismarck Archipelago. I have previously had the species from the Waitemata beds in the vicinity of Auckland.

Vulvulina sp. aff. pennatula (Batsch).
(Plate 20, fig. 1.)

There is an excellent median section of a megalospheric example of a species of Vulvulina in another of Professor Bartrum's slides. The test begins with a short planospiral series of chambers and the wall is distinctly tubulated. The species is probably the same as one which occurs in the Waitemata beds at Motuihi Island and Granger's Creek, Whitford, near Auckland, and which appears to be closely related to V. pennatula.

Nodosaria parexilis Cushman and K. C. Stewart.

Nodosaria exilis Schwager (non Neugeboren), 1866, p. 223, pl. v, fig. 52.
N. parexilis Cushman and K. C. Stewart, 1930, p. 55, pl. ii, figs. 13–15.

There is one section of a typical example. This species is common in the Waitemata beds exposed on Manukau Harbour, near Auckland. It was described from the Pliocene of California; Schwager's specimens were from the Pliocene of Kar Nicobar, in the Andaman Islands.

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Nodosaria antipodum Stache.

Nodosaria antipodum Stache, 1864, p. 294, pl. xxii, figs. 19a-e.
N. radicula (Linné), slender var.: Chapman, 1926, p. 52, pl. iii, figs. 19a-e (after Stache).

There is one good example of this species exposed on the fractured surface of the rock. It also occurs in the sections. N. antipodum appears to be one of the group containing Dentalina soluta Reuss and D. pomuligera Stache. It is characterised by its practically straight test, many sub-globular chambers of almost even diameter, thick shell wall and limbate sutures. Stache did not figure a complete specimen. The Chalky Island examples are likewise fragmentary, the largest consisting of nine chambers and measuring 3.2 mm. in length.

The type specimens of N. antipodum were from the Tertiary of Whaingaroa Harbour. Mr C. R. Laws, M.Sc., has kindly forwarded some fine examples of this species from the Chatton Sands, near Gore, Otago, which have been assigned by Dr Marwick to the Oligocene.

Gümbelina sp. cf. globulosa (Ehrenberg)

There are several sections of a species of Gümbelina near G. globulosa (Ehrenberg). The specimens are exactly similar to those occurring in the so-called hydraulic limestones of North Auckland, which are considered to be of Upper Cretaceous or Early Tertiary age.

Although Gümbelina is typically an Upper Cretaceous genus, its range extends into the Tertiary. Schubert (1911, p. 25) has recorded what is probably the same as the present form under the name of Pseudotextularia cf. globulosa (Ehr.), from the Upper Miocene Globigerina-marl of Katendan, New Mecklenburg, in the Bismarck Archipelago.

Uvigerina sp. cf. interrupta Brady

There is an example of what is almost certainly the above species in one of the rock sections. U. interrupta is an Indo-Pacific form which occurs in moderately deep water off Papua, in the Red Sea, and elsewhere. It is frequently met with in the Miocene of Victoria.

Amphistegina sp. aff. lessonii d'Orbigny.

(Plate 20, fig. 2.)

Examples of a species of Amphistegina, near A. lessonii, are common in the gritty parts of the samples. The sections show it to be strongly beaded around the aperture. Chapman's records of the genus from New Zealand were from the Oligocene and the Miocene; it is abundant in the Miocene of Victoria.

Cibicides refulgens Montfort

Typical examples of this species are common in the rock sections and there is also one free specimen. This is a widely distributed form in the living condition. The only records as a fossil from New Zealand are from the Miocene.

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Planorbulina sp.

There are several sections of a species near P. mediterranensis d'Orb. This genus has not previously been recorded from New Zealand.

Halkyardia bartrumi, sp. nov.

(Plate 20, figs. 3–6; text-figs. 1–3.)

Test free, biconvex to sub-conical, beginning with an embryonic series of two or more rounded to crescentic chambers, later chambers in annular series, in end view rounded to sub-hexagonal or occasionally arcuate, tubular, elongate, frequently with the lateral walls vertically corrugated, extending into the umbilical region which is filled with coarsely tubulated shell material; superior surface thickened by layers of coarsely perforated shell material; no general aperture, communication with the exterior being through the coarse perforation in the shell wall.

Diameter up to 1.15 mm.; height up to 0.6 mm.

Holotype and other figured specimens in collection of Dominion Museum, Wellington, New Zealand.

It is of great interest to meet with the genus Halkyardia in the Tertiary of New Zealand, as previous records, with the exception of one which is referred to below, are from the Middle Eocene of Southern Europe. The genotype is H. minima (Liebus), which was described (Liebus, 1911, p. 952, pl. ii, figs. 7a-c) from the Middle Eocene of Smokovic, in North Dalmatia, under the name of Cymbalopora radiata Hagenow, var. minima, and subsequently recorded by Heron-Allen and Earland in the work of Halkyard (1919, p. 110, pl. vi, figs. 8, 9) on the foraminifera of Biarritz, when they also described the genus. A second species, H. ovata, was described in Halkyard's paper, this being apparently the only other species described.

Very recently Galloway (1933, p. 317) has recorded the genus from the Oligocene of Mexico, but notes “There is some doubt about Halkyardia being a foraminifer. Some specimens of the genus from the Oligocene of Mexico, which have all the characters of the genus, bear considerable resemblance to knobs on echinoid plates.” It is difficult to understand why such a doubt should have arisen in view of the figures and descriptions given of the genus in Halkyard's paper, especially when it is considered that these have the authority of such workers as Heron-Allen, Earland, and Halkyard. Their observations on the genotype are confirmed by those of the writer on the present species.

H. bartrumi was at first considered to be merely a variety of H. minima, which, in many respects, it closely resembles, but, with more material available, it is clear that the two are specifically distinct. H. bartrumi is twice the size of the European form, which measures only 0.5–0.6 mm. in diameter. More important differences are the nature of the embryonic apparatus and the corrugation of the dividing walls between the chambers in the present species.

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In the only section of H. minima which has been figured (Halkyard, 1919, pl. vi, fig. 9), the test begins with a single globular chamber, which is immediately followed by the annular series of chambers. The embryonic apparatus in the New Zealand species, on the contrary, consists of two or more chambers. Generally there are two, when the arrangement is similar to that seen in the genus Lepidocyclina (sensu stricto) (Plate 20, fig. 3; text-figs. 1, 2), but this number may be exceeded (Text-fig. 3). All of the specimens of which a radial section has been obtained are megalospheric. The embryonic chambers of H. bartrumi may be compared with those of Linderina buranensis, described by Nuttall and Brighton (1931, p. 58, pl. iv, figs. 8–14; text-fig. 3) from the Middle Eocene of Somaliland.

The chamber walls are single. The corrugation of the lateral walls is usually found in the later rings of chambers and is somewhat irregular. When seen in vertical sections, it gives a pseudo-septate appearance to the chambers, such as is shown in Fig. 4 on the plate. This was very misleading until additional material, received from Professor Benson, enabled good horizontal sections to be obtained which explained this structure (Plate 20, fig. 6).

There are two classes of perforations in the test. The embryonic chambers are very finely perforated, as also are parts of the walls between the chambers in the annular series. The outer end of each annular chamber and the chamber floors have numerous coarse perforations.

From the study of the considerable number of sections of H. bartrumi available, it appears to the writer that the genus is very closely related to Linderina, from which it differs in having the median layer of chambers strongly concavo-convex, with a corresponding modification in the shape of the chambers. The present species, in the character of the embryonic apparatus and the very regularly arranged rings of chambers, as well as the lateral layers of shelly material, shows some affinity with the orbitoidal genera such as Monolepidorbis Astre and Orbitoides d'Orbigny.

The name of this species is given in honour of Professor J. A. Bartrum, to whom I am indebted for the first samples of material containing this interesting form as well as for much other material from the Tertiary of New Zealand.

Gypsina sp. cf. howchini Chapman.

There is a vertical section of a small specimen which agrees with similar sections of Victorian examples of G. howchini in having the chambers of the median plane larger than the lateral chambers and also in the shape of the test. The only other form resembling it is

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G. vesicularis (Parker and Jones), var.discus Goës, which is unknown as a fossil and has been recorded from Recent tropical seas only. G. howchini was described from the Lower Miocene of Batesford. Victoria (Chapman, 1910, p. 291, pl. lii, figs. 4a, b; pl. liii, figs. 3–5), and has been recorded only from the Miocene of Victoria.

Carpenteria proteiformis Goës.

This species is represented by one typical example. It has been recorded by Chapman from the Oligocene, and by the writer from the Miocene, of New Zealand.


Benson, W. N., 1933. The Geology of the Region about Preservation and Chalky Inlets, South-West Fiordland, New Zealand, Trans. N.Z. Inst., vol. 63, pp. 393–432.

Brady, H. B., 1884. Report on the foraminifera dredged by H.M.S. Challenger during the years 1873–1876, Rept. Voy. Challenger, Zoology, vol. ix, 2 vols., text and plates.

Chapman, F., 1910. A Study of the Batesford Limestone, Proc. Roy. Soc. Vic., Vol. xxii (n.s.), pt. 2 (for 1909), pp. 263–314, pls. lii-lv.

——, 1926. The Cretaceous and Tertiary Foraminifera of New Zealand N.Z. Geol. Survey Pal. Bull. No. 11.

Cushman, J. A., 1931. New Late Tertiary Foraminifera from Vitilevu, Fiji, Contr. Cushm. Lab. Foram. Research, vol. vii, pt. 2, pp. 25–32, pl. iv.

——, and R. E. and K. C. Stewart, 1930. Tertiary Foraminifera from Humboldt County, California, Trans. San Diego Soc. Nat. Hist., vol. vi, No. 2, pp. 41–94, pls. i-viii.

Galloway, J. J., 1933. A Manual of Foraminifera, Bloomington, U.S.A.

Halkyard, E., 1919. The Fossil Foraminifera of the Blue Marl of the Côtedes Basques, Biarritz; Edited with additions by E. Heron-Allen and A. Earland. Mem. Proc. Manchester Lit. Phil. Soc., vol. lxii (for 1917), Mem. 6.

Hinde, G. J., and W. M. Holmes, 1892. On the Sponge Remains in the Lower Tertiary Strata near Oamaru, Otago, New Zealand. Journ. Linn. Soc. London, Zool., vol. xxiv, pt. 2, pp. 177–262, pls. vii-xv.

Liebus, A., 1911. Die Foraminiferenfauna der mitteleocánen Mergel von Norddalmatien, Sitz. Akad. Wiss. Wien, Math, nat. Kl., vol. cxx. Abth. 1, pp. 865–956, pls. i-iii.

Nuttall, W. L. F., and A. G. Brighton, 1931. Larger Foraminifera from the Tertiary of Somaliland, Geol. Mag., vol. lxviii, pp. 49–65, pls. i-iv.

Schubert, R., 1911. Die fossilen Foraminiferen des Bismarck-archipels, Abh. k. k. Geol. Reichs., vol. xx, pt. 4, pp. 1–130, pls. i-vi.

Schwager, C., 1866. Fossile Foraminiferen von Kar-Nicobar, Novara-Exped., Geol. Theil, vol. ii, pp. 187–268, pls. iv-vii.

Stache, G., 1864. Die Foraminiferen des Tertiaren Mergel des Whaingaroa-Hafens (Provinz Auckland), Ibid., vol. i, Pal., pp. 161–304, pls. xxi-xxiv.

Explanation of Plates.

  • Fig. 1.—Vulvulina sp. aff. pennatula (Batsch). Median vertical section showing coiled early stage. X 55.

  • Fig. 2.—Amphistegina sp. aff. lessonii d'Orbigny. Vertical section. X 37.

  • Figs. 3–6.—Halkyardia bartrumi, sp. nov. Fig. 3—Holotype (a young individual) Median vertical section showing complex embryonic apparatus. X 55. Fig. 4—Vertical section through an adult specimen just outside centre of test. The apparent subdivision of the tubular chambers is due to the corrugation of the dividing walls. X 37. Fig. 5—Tangential section cut midway between the centre of the test and its periphery X 55. Fig. 6—Horizontal section near the base of test. This shows the corrugated dividing walls. X 55.

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Fig 1—Vulvulina sp aff pennatula (Batsch). Median vertical section showing colled early stage. X 55 Fig 2—Amphistegina sp aff lessonii d'Orbigny. Vertical section X 37 Fig. 3–6—Halkyardia bartrumt, sp nov. Fig. 3—Holotype (a young individual) Median vertical section showing complex embryonic apparatus X 55 Fig 4—Vertical section through an adult specimen just outside centre of test. The apparent subdivision of the tubular chambers is due to the corrugation of the dividing walls. X 37. Fig. 5—Tangential section cut midway between the centre of the test and its periphery. X 55 Fig. 6.—Horizontal section near the base of test. This shows the corrugated dividing walls. X 55.