Carboniferous spores part I

The 'Bernard Owens Collection' of single grain mount palynological slides:
Compiled by Mike Stephenson and Bernard Owens

Thumbnail of PDF report

These pages contain information on the first 68 taxa of the Bernard Owens single mount palynology collection. The complete collection of 145 taxa will be released later. Because, websites do not have publication status, a formal publication has been produced in .pdf format in the British Geological Survey Research Report Series (RR/06/05) and is available as a free download. This report has been assigned an ISBN number and deposited with the copyright libraries. It has been reviewed by two referees internal to the BGS and two further independent and experienced palaeontologists. It is to the research report that bibliographical reference should be made in formal taxonomic research.

A 'professional' version with a number of further images of all species and detailed data concerning age, distribution, etc. is available on CD ROM and hard copy, primarily for the commercial sector, and can be purchased through the BGS. Please contact Dr Mike Stephenson at BGS

The collection

The collection of single grain mount slides which is partly illustrated here, is possibly the most important collection of single grain Late Palaeozoic palynomorphs in the world with over 145 taxa represented by many specimens (up to 25 specimens per taxon), showing a wide range of preservation and natural variation. The specimens were collected from localities worldwide but are most closely associated with the UK and north-west Europe. Many of the taxa illustrated and described are integral to the biozonation of the Carboniferous of north-west Europe published by Clayton et al. (1977) and to earlier regional biozonations of smaller stratigraphical intervals within the UK (Smith and Butterworth, 1967; Neves et al., 1972, 1973; Owens and Burgess, 1965; Owens et al., 1977).

Each single grain mount slide is associated with a unique BGS collections number prefixed with MPK. All slides are held in the BGS Palaeontology Collections at Keyworth, Nottingham. For information on the collection and on slide loans please contact Dr Mike Howe, Chief Curator, BGS, Keyworth phone 0115 936 3105.


The collection

Slides stored in drawer

ARTUZ, S. 1957. Die Sporae Dispersae der Turkischen Steinkohle von Zonguldak-Gebiet (mit besonder Beachtung der neuen Arten und Genera). Instanbul Universitesi fen Facültesi Mecmuasi B, Vol. 22, 239–263.

BALME, B E. 1952. On some spore specimens from British Upper Carboniferous coals. Geological Magazine, Vol. 89, 175–184.

BECKER, G, BLESS, M J M, STREEL, M, and THOREZ, J. 1974. Palynology and ostracode distribution in the Upper Devonian and basal Dinantian of Belgium and their dependence on sedimentary facies. Mededelingen Rijks Geologische Dienst, Nieuwe Serie, Vol. 25, 9–99.

BHARDWAJ, D C. 1954. Einige neue Sporengattungen des Saarkarbons. Neues Jahrbuch fur Geologie und Paläontologie, Monatshefte, Vol. 11, 512–525.

BHARADWAJ, D C, and VENKATACHALA, B S. 1961. Spore assemblage out of a Lower Carboniferous shale from Spitzbergen. Palaeobotanist, Vol. 10, 18–47.

BRINDLEY, S, and SPINNER, E. 1989. Palynological assemblages from Lower Carboniferous deposits, Burntisland district, Fife, Scotland. Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society, Vol. 47, 215–231.

BUTTERWORTH, M A, and WILLIAMS, R W. 1958. The small spore floras of coals in the Limestone Coal Group and Upper Limestone Group of the Lower Carboniferous of Scotland. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Vol. 63, 353–392.

CLAYTON, G. 1971. Lower Carboniferous miospore assemblage from the Calciferous Sandstone Measures of the Cockburnspath region of eastern Scotland. Pollen et Spores, Vol. 12, 577–600.

CLAYTON, G. 1985. Dinantian miospores and inter-continental correlation. Compte Rendu 10th International Congress on Carboniferous Stratigraphy and Geology (Madrid, 1983), Vol. 4, 9–23.

CLAYTON, G, HIGGS, K, KEEGAN, J B, and SEVASTOPULO, G D. 1978. Correlation of the palynological zonation of the Dinantian of the British Isles. Palinologia, Vol. 1, 137–147.

CLAYTON, G, COQUEL, R, DOUBINGER, J, GUEINN, K J, LOBOZIAK, S, OWENS, B, and STREEL, M. 1977. Carboniferous miospores of Western Europe: illustration and zonation. Mededelingen Rijks Geologische Dienst, Vol. 29, 1–71.

DOUBINGER, J. 1957. Présence de pollens ‘monocolpates’ dans un charbon du bassin de Decazeville (Aveyron). Annales de la Société Géologique du Nord, Vol. 67, 120–139.

HACQUEBARD, P A. 1957. Plant spores in coal from the Horton Group (Mississippian) of Nova Scotia. Micropaleontology, Vol. 3, 301–324.

HACQUEBARD, P A, and BARSS, M S. 1957. A Carboniferous spore assemblage in coal from the South Nahanni River area, Northwest Territories. Bulletin of the Geological Survey of Canada, Vol. 40, 1–63.

HECKEL, P H, and CLAYTON, G. 2006.The Carboniferous System. Use of the new official names for the subsystems, series and stages. Geologica Acta, Vol. 4, No. 3, 403–407. Available online at www.

HIBBERT, F A, and LACEY, W S. 1969. Miospores from the Lower Carboniferous basement beds in the Menai Straits region of Caernarvonshire, North Wales. Palaeontology, Vol. 12, 420–440.

HIGGS, K. 1975. Upper Devonian and Lower Carboniferous miospore assemblages from Hook Head, County Wexford, Ireland. Micropaleontology, Vol. 21, 393–419.

HIGGS, K, CLAYTON, G, and KEEGAN, J B. 1988. Stratigraphic and systematic palynology of the Tournaisian rocks of Ireland. Geological Survey of Ireland, Special Paper 7, 1–93.

HIGGS, K T, AVKHIMOVITCH, V I, LOBOZIAK, S, MAZIANE-SERRAJ, N, STEMPIEN-SALEK, M, AND STREEL, M. 2000. Systematic study and stratigraphic correlation of the Grandispora complex in the Famennian of northwest and eastern Europe. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, Vol. 112, 207–228

HOFFMEISTER, W S, STAPLIN, F L, and MALLOY, R E. 1955. Mississipian plant spores from the Hardinsburg Formation of Illinois and Kentucky. Journal of Paleontology, Vol. 29, 372–399.

HORST, U. 1955. Die sporae dispersae des Namurs von Westoberschlesien und Mährisch-Ostrau. Palaeontographica B, Vol. 98, 137–236.

ISHCHENKO, A M. 1956. Spores and pollen of the Lower Carboniferous deposits of the western extension of the Donetz Basin, and their stratigraphic importance. Trudy Institute of Geology Nauk, Kiev. Stratigraphic and Palaeontological Series, Vol. 11, 1–185.

KAISER, H. 1970. Die Oberdevon-Flora der Bäreninsel Mikroflora des Höheren Oberdevons und des Unterkarbons. Palaeontographica B, Vol. 129, 71–124.

KEDO, G I. 1957. Spores from the supra salt Devonian deposits of the Pripyat depression and their stratigraphical significance. Byelorussian SSE. Palaeontology Reports, 3–45.

KEDO, G I. 1963. Spores of the Tournaisian Stage of the Pripyat Depression and their stratigraphical significance. Paleontologiya i Stratigrafiya BSSR, Vol. 4, 3–121.

KNOX, E M. 1950. The spores of Lycopodium, Phylloglossum, Selaginella, and Isoëtes and their value in the study of microfossils of Palaeozoic age. Transactions of the Botanical Society of Edinburgh, Vol. 35, 211–357.

KOSANKE, R M. 1950. Pennsylvanian spores of Illinois and their use in correlation. Bulletin of the Illinois State Geological Survey, Vol. 74, 1–128.

LOBOZIAK, S, and ALPERN, B. 1978. Le bassin houiller Viséen D'Agadès (Niger). III: Les microspores. Palinologia, Vol. 1, 55–67.

LOBOZIAK, S, and CLAYTON, G. 1988. The Carboniferous palynostratigraphy of north east Libya. 129–149 in EL ARNAUTI, A., OWENS, B, and THUSU, B (editors). Subsurface palynostratigraphy of northeast Libya. (Benghazi, Libya: Garyounis University Publications.)

LOOSE, F. 1934. Sporenformen aus dem Flöz Bismarck des Ruhrgebietes. Arbeiten, Institut für Paläobotanik und Petrographie, Brennsteine, Vol. 4, 127–164.

LOVE, L G. 1960. Assemblages of small spores from the Lower Oil shale Group of Scotland. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh B, Vol. 67, 99–126.

NEVES, R, GUEINN, K J, CLAYTON, G, IOANNIDES, N, and NEVILLE, R S W. 1972. A scheme of miospore zones for the British Dinantian. Compte Rendu 7th Congrès International de Stratigraphie et de Géologie du Carbonifére, Krefeld, 1979, Vol. 1, 347–353.

NEVES R, GUEINN K J, CLAYTON G, IOANNIDES N S, NEVILLE R S W, and KRUSZEWSKA K. 1973. Palynological correlations within the Lower Carboniferous of Scotland and Northern England. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Vol. 69, 23–70.

NEVES, R, and IOANNIDES, N. 1974. Palynology of the Lower Carboniferous (Dinantian) of the Spilmersford Borehole, East Lothian, Scotland. Bulletin of the Geological Survey of Great Britain, Vol. 45, 73–97.

NEVES, R, and OWENS, B. 1966. Some Namurian camerate miospores from the English Pennines. Pollen et Spores, Vol. 8, 337–360.

NEVES, R. 1961. Namurian plant spores from the southern Pennines, England. Palaeontology, Vol. 4, 247–279.

NEVES, R. 1964. Knoxisporites (Potonié & Kremp) Neves 1961. Compte Rendu 5th International Congress on Carboniferous Stratigraphy and Geology (Paris 1963), Vol. 1, 1063–1069.

NEVILLE, R S W. 1968. Ranges of selected spores in the Upper Viséan of the East Fife coast section between St. Monace and Pittenweem. Pollen et Spores, Vol. 10, 431–462.

OWENS, B, and BURGESS, I C. 1965. The Stratigraphy and palynology of the Upper Carboniferous outlier of Stainmore, Westmoreland. Bulletin of the Geological Survey of Great Britain, No. 23, 17–44.

OWENS, B, MISHELL, D R F, and MARSHALL, J. 1976. Kraeuselisporites from the Namurian of northern England. Pollen et Spores, Vol. 18, 145–156.

OWENS, B, MCLEAN, D, and BODMAN, D. 2004. A revised palynozonation of British Namurian deposits and comparisons with eastern Europe. Micropaleontology, Vol. 50, 89–103.

OWENS, B, NEVES, R, GUEINN, K J, MISHELL, D R F, SABRY, H S M Z, and WILLIAMS, J E. 1977. Palynological division of the Namurian of northern England and Scotland. Proceedings of the Yorkshire Geological Society, Vol. 41, 381–398.

PLAYFORD, G. 1962. Lower Carboniferous microfloras of Spitsbergen. Palaeontology, Vol. 5, 550–678.

PLAYFORD, G. 1964. Miospores from the Mississippian Horton Group, eastern Canada. Geological Survey of Canada Bulletin, Vol. 107, 1–47.

PLAYFORD, G. 1976. Plant microfossils from the Upper Devonian and Lower Carboniferous of the Canning Basin, Western Australia. Palaeontographica B, Vol. 158, 1–71.

PLAYFORD, G. 1991. Australian Lower Carboniferous miospores relevant to extra-Gondwanic correlations: an evaluation. Courier Forschungsinstitut Senckenburg, Vol. 130, 85–125.

PLAYFORD, G, and MCGREGOR, D C. 1993. Miospores and organic walled microphytoplankton of Devonian-Carboniferous boundary beds (Bakken Formation), Southern Saskatchewan: a systematic and stratigraphic appraisal. Geological Survey of Canada Bulletin, 445, 1–107.

POTONIÉ, R, and KREMP, G. 1955. Die sporae dispersae des Ruhrkarbons, ihre Morphographie und Stratigraphie mit Ausblicken auf Arten anderer Gebeite und Zeitabschnitte: Teil I. Palaeontographica B, Vol. 98, 1–136.

POTONIÉ, R, and KREMP, G. 1956. Die sporae dispersae des Ruhrkarbons, ihre Morphographie und Stratigraphie mit Ausblicken auf Arten anderer Gebeite und Zeitabschnitte: Teil II. Palaeontographica B, Vol. 99, 85–191.

PUNT, W, BLACKMORE, S, NILSSON, S, and LE THOMAS, A. 1994. Glossary of pollen and spore terminology. LPP Contributions Series No. 1. LPP Foundation, Utrecht, 1–71.

RAMSBOTTOM, W H C 1981. Field guide to the boundary stratotypes of the Carboniferous stages in Britain. (Leeds, 25th August – 1st September 1981), Subcommission on Carboniferous Stratigraphy.

RICHARDSON, J B, and MCGREGOR, D C. 1986. Silurian and Devonian spore zones of the Old Red Sandstone continent and adjacent regions. Geological Survey of Canada Bulletin 364, 1–79.

SÁNCHEZ DE POSADA, L C, VILLA, E, RODRÍGUEZ, R M, MARTINEZ CHACÓN, M L, RODRÍGUEZ, S, and COQUEL, R. 2002. 588–595 in HILLS, L V, HENDERSON, C M, and BAMBER, E W (editors). Carboniferous and Permian of the world. Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists Memoir 19.

SCHEMEL, M P. 1950. Carboniferous plant spores from Daggett County, Utah. Journal of Paleontology, Vol. 24, 232–244.

SCHOPF, J M, WILSON, L R, and BENTALL, R. 1944. An annotated synopsis of Paleozoic fossil spores and the definition of generic groups. Illinois State Geological Survey, Report of Investigations, No. 91, 1–72.

SMITH, A H V, and BUTTERWORTH, M A. 1967. Miospores in the coal seams of the Carboniferous of Great Britain. Special Papers of the Palaeontological Association, Vol. 1, 1–324.

SOMERS, Y. 1972. Révision du genre Lycospora Schopf, Wilson & Bentall – Microfossiles Organiques du Paleozoique. 5, Spores. Centre National Recherche Scientifique, 11–110.

STAPLIN, F L, and JANSONIUS, J. 1964. Elucidation of some Paleozoic densospores. Palaeontographica B, Vol. 114, 95–117.

SULLIVAN, H J. 1964. Miospores from the Drybrook Sandstone and associated measures in the Forest of Dean basin, Gloucestershire. Palaeontology, Vol. 7, 351–392.

SULLIVAN, H J. 1968. A Tournaisian spore flora from the Cementstone Group of Ayrshire, Scotland. Palaeontology, Vol. 11, 116–131.

SULLIVAN, H J, and MARSHALL, A E. 1966. Viséan spores from Scotland. Micropaleontology, Vol. 12, 265–285.

TURNAU, E. 1975. Microflora of the Famennian and Tournaisian deposits from boreholes of northern Poland. Acta Geologica Polonica, Vol. 25, 505–528.

TURNAU, E. 1978. Spore zonation of uppermost Devonian and Lower Carboniferous deposits of western Pomerania. Mededelingen Rijks Geologische Dienst, Vol. 30, 1–35.

TURNER, N, SPINNER, E, SPODE, F, and WIGNALL, P B. 1994. Palynostratigraphy of a Carboniferous transgressive systems tract from the earliest Alportian (Namurian) of Britain. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, Vol. 80, 39–54.

UTTING, J, KEPPIE, J D, AND GILES, P S. 1989. Palynology and stratigraphy of the Lower Carboniferous Horton Group, Nova Scotia. Contributions to Paleontology, Geological Survey of Canada Bulletin 396, 117–143.

VARKER, W J, OWENS, B, AND RILEY, N J. 1990. Integrated biostratigraphy for the proposed mid-Carboniferous boundary stratotype, Stonehead Beck, Cowling, North Yorkshire, England. Courier Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg, Vol. 130, 221–235.

WINSLOW, M R. 1962. Plant spores and other microfossils from Upper Devonian and Lower Mississippian rocks of Ohio. USGS Professional Paper, Vol. 364, 1–93.

List of specimens

Sample details and sometimes description (where this adds to the concept of the taxon) are given alongside the photographed specimens. Each specimen has an MPK code that corresponds to a single slide that identifies it as part of the collection.

Taxon BGS collection number MPK
Angulisporites splendidus 7049-7055
Auroraspora macra 7475-7479, 7490
Bellispores nitidus 7762-7768
Cheiledonites major 7701-7702, 7705-7706, 7708
Cingulizonates bialatus 6977-6988
Cingulizonates capistratus 6958-6976
Cirratriradites saturni 7303-7309
Colatisporites decorus 7671-7672, 7674-7675, 7677
Convolutispora circumvallata 7421-7426
Convolutispora major 7192-7202
Crassispora aculeata 7013-7018
Crassispora kosankei 7001-7011
Crassispora maculosa 7074-7079
Crassispora trychera 7012
Densosporites anulatus 7655, 7659-7661, 7663-7664
Dictyotriletes fimbriatus 7593-7595, 7597-7598
Dictyotriletes muricatus 7583-7586
Endosporites zonalis 7499-7503
Grandispora lupata 7286-7296
Grandispora spinosa 7130-7135
Grumosisporites varioreticulatus 7623-7626, 7628
Grumosisporites verrucosus 7726-7730
Hystricosporites multifurcatus 7267-7268
Knoxisporites hederatus 7297-7302
Knoxisporites triangularis 7031-7036
Knoxisporites stephanephorus 7037-7048
Knoxisporites triradiatus 7715, 7717-7720
Kraeuselisporites echinatus 7056-7061
Kraeuselisporites hibernicus 7443-7448
Kraeuselisporites ornatus 7690-7693
Labiadensites fimbriatus 7257-7266
Lophozonotriletes malevkensis 7455-7465
Lycospora pusilla 7631, 7633-7638, 7640-7641, 7643
Murospora moniloformis 7230-7244
Murospora parthenopia 7165-7179
Radiizonates aligerens 6989-7000
Raistrickia clavata 7392-7403
Raistrickia condylosa 7415-7420
Raistrickia corynoges 7374-7379
Raistrickia fulva 7380-7391
Reinschospora speciosa 7432-7442
Remysporites magnificus 7511-7516
Reticulatisporites carnosus 7019-7030
Retispora lepidophyta 7124-7129
Rotaspora fracta 7569-7572
Rotaspora knoxi 7802-7804, 7806-7809
Schopfites claviger 7782-7787
Schulzospora campyloptera 7136-7146
Schulzospora ocellata 7180-7191
Schulzospora rara 7274-7285
Spelaeotriletes arenaceus 7147-7158
Spelaeotriletes balteatus 7112-7123
Spelaeotriletes cabotii 7738-7742
Spelaeotriletes giganteus 7253-7256
Spelaeotriletes owensi 7245-7252
Spinozonotriletes uncatus 7449, 7450
Torispora securis 7092-7111
Tripartites trilinguis 7559-7565, 7566
Tripartites vetustus 7555-7558, 7564
Triquitrites sculptilis 7215-7229
Triquitrites trivalvis 7750-7757
Umbonatisporites distinctus 7427
Umbonatisporites variabilis 7428-7431
Valatisporites agadesi 7340-7348
Vallatisporites drybrookensis 7080-7091
Vallatisporites hystricosus 7062-7072
Vallatisporites vallatus 7325-7339
Vallatisporites verrucosus 7310-7324