Guide to collections

Cephalopods collection

Name Cephalopods collection
Alternative name MCNB. Col. Cephalopods
Cite as Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona (MCNB). Cephalopods collection
MCNB. Col. cephalopods
Description Collection of cephalopods consisting of dry shells (70% of lots) and whole organisms preserved in 70% ethyl alcohol. In all, there are 466 specimens grouped in 148 lots, corresponding to 30 species. Most of the material belongs to the Museum's historical collection (including the original collection belonging to Francesc Martorell, as well as the collections of Artur Bofill, Joan Baptista d'Aguilar-Amat, Joan Rosals, the Barcelona Royal Academy of Science and Arts, Baltasar Serradell and the Jaume Balme Institute). More recent additions include specimens from the collection of Luis Gasull. Geographically, the collection is centred on the Mediterranean (above all, the Catalan and Balearic coasts), with additional material from the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian (Southeast Asia) oceans, and taxonomically covers all the main orders of cephalopods. The whole collection has been registered, documented and digitalized to specimen-lot level. Data from a part of the collection can be consulted on-line on the website of the Barcelona Natural History Museum and the portal GBIF. Part of the collection – including anatomical preparations – has been on display in the Museum's permanent collection. Four samples of the collection are currently on display in the permanent exhibition of the Museum Blau.
Provenance The first specimens came from the shell collection of Francesc Martorell i Peña and were part of the original collection of the Martorell Museum (1879). The cephalopod collection also includes shells from the collection of Antoni de Samà (added in around 1914) corresponding to marine molluscs from the Catalan coast. The addition of the collections of Aguilar-Amat, Artur Bofill and Joan Rosals in 1917-1920 increased the Museum's collection significantly. Further material came from other historical collections that were added subsequently, including specimens from the Barcelona Royal Academy of Science and Arts (on permanent loan to the Museum since 1925) and the collections of Baltasar Serradell (1931) and the Jaume Balmes Institutue (1936). Other specimens were donated by Museum collaborators such as Marià Ferrer Bravo, Josep Maluquer and Josep Paltré). The oldest specimens preserved in liquid come from the Naples Zoological Station and correspond to a batch of specimens adquired by the Museum (organization of the oceanic section in 1916-1917) and include two anatomical preparations. There are also a few specimens collected by the Aguilar-Amat exhibition to French Indo-china (1929). Under the direction of Artur Bofill (1892-1929) and then Joan Baptista d’Aguilar-Amat (1929-1936) the malacological section began to be reorganized and all the different collections were united and the nomenclature revised (all the original labels were preserved). The most recent specimens (five shells of Argonauta argo) originated from the collection of Luis Gasull and were added in 1983 when Rosario Nos was the director of the Museum. Francesc Uribe has been curator of the Museum's non-Arthropod Invertebrate collection since 1997. During his time in charge, the registration, documentation and computerization to specimen-lot level has been completed.
Kingdom coverage Animalia
Taxon coverage Cephalopoda
Common name coverage cephalopods, cuttlefish, octopuses, squids
Collectors Aguilar-Amat, Joan Baptista d'
Bofill i Poch, Artur
Bordas, Federico
Ferrer Bravo, Marià
Gasull Martínez, Luís
Maluquer, Josep
Museu de Zoologia de Barcelona
Paltré, Josep
Collection type Preserved
Primary purpose Research
Include types No
Grouping principle Taxonomic
Formations periods ca. 1882-
Development statuses Passive growth
Collection extents 148 lots, 30 species, 466 specimens
Documentation state Documentary control of all the lots (registration, inventory and computerization). Most material still needs to be revised: identfication to species level based on documentation and original labels (nomenclature updated for the samples documented with MuseumPlus).
Specimen preservation methods Fluid-preserved, No Treatment
Preparation and conservation Dried material boxed or wrapped up in protective material in individual containers. Periodical control of samples in liquid. Control of the environmental conditions in storage areas.
McGinley conservation statuses Level 8
Conservation status date 02-07-2013 (dd-mm-yyyy)
Institution Natural Science Museum of Barcelona - Non-Arthropod Invertebrates Department
Parent collection Collection of marine molluscs
Associated person Miguel Prieto (Documentalist), Francesc Uribe (Curator),
Item level access MCNB Mollusca GBIF online database (date when consulted) (accessed through GBIF data portal,, 2013-09-04)
Col·leccions en línia de Zoologia (MCNB) / Online Zoological Collections (MCNB)
Related material Bofill i Poch, A., 1917. La colecció Rosals. Anuari de la Junta de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona, 2: 193-196.

Bofill i Poch, A., 1918. Moluscos Ingressats en el Museu des de el 1er de juliol de 1917. Anuari de la Junta de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona, 3: 201-224.

Josep Maluquer, 1917. Organització i increment de la Secció Oceanogràfica. Anuari de la Junta de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona, 2: 205-238.

Josep Maluquer, 1918. Les seccions ictiològica i d'invertebrats marins en 1918. Anuari de la Junta de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona, 3: 192-198.

Martorell, M. & Bofill, A., 1888. Catálogo de la colección conchiológica que fué de D. Francisco Martorell y Peña legada por dicho señor á la ciudad de Barcelona y existente en el Museo Martorell de la propia ciudad. Barcelona. 94 pp.

Nos, R., 1984. Homenatge del Museu de Zoologia de Barcelona a tres malacòlegs catalans. Lluís Gasull Martínez, Carles Altimira Aleu i Jaume Bot Arenas. Miscel·lània Zoològica, 8: 311-312.