Guide to collections

Mollusc collection of Miquel Bech i Taberner

Name Mollusc collection of Miquel Bech i Taberner
Alternative name MCNB. Col. Bech
Cite as Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona (MCNB). Mollusc collection of Miquel Bech i Taberner
MCNB. Col. Bech
Description Collection of continental molluscs belonging to the Catalan malacologist Miquel Bech i Taberner (1919–2006) donated to the Barcelona Natural History Museum in 2009. This collection is the material manifestation of Bech i Taberner's contribution to malacology, which includes numerous scientific publications, the descriptions of new taxa, and various collaborations with other malacologists and museums. His collection consists of 29 200 dry specimens, grouped into 3144 lots and belonging to around 450 species. Over 95% of the lots consist of gastropods, above all terrestrial; the rest consist of freshwater bivalves. The geological scope is mainly Iberian Spain (92% of lots) and Catalonia (62% of the collection's lots). Also represented are samples from the Balearic and Canary Islands, Morocco and other regions. Many of the specimens were collected and identified by Bech himself; Bech collaborated closely with the Museum and many of his specimens were collected by members of the Museum staff and its collaborators. The collection includes 28 lots of type specimens (344 specimens), the majority corresponding to taxa described by the author, mainly from the families Chondrinidae, Hydrobiidae and Hygromiidae. The whole collection has been registered, documented and computerized to specimen lot level. It can be consulted on-line at the website of the Barcelona Natural History Museum.
Provenance The formation of the collection went hand-in-hand with the author's scientific activities, manifest in numerous publications and collaborations with other malacologists and institutions. Aside from the material gathered by Bech himself, there are also a large number of specimens provided by other collectors and colleagues almost 100), including Carles Altimira, Jacint Altimiras, Josep Vicent González, Francesc Español, Guillem Fernández, Montserrat Gorchs, Yolanda Manga and Arturo Valledor. Bech's connections with the Museum led him to collaborate actively with this institution – but there are also samples in his collection donated to him by other Museum collaborators such as Vicenç Bros, Jordi Cadevall, Albert Orozco and Jordi Nebot (linked to the Invertebrate non-Arthropod section), and Lluís Auroux, Oleguer Escolà and Florentí Fadrique, the latter the providers of specimens from subterranean habitats, principally in Catalonia and Morocco. Of great value are the collection's type specimens (a total of 28 lots and 334 specimens), corresponding to 20 taxa, the majority described by Bech himself. The collection was donated to the Museum by Bech's family in 2009, and its lots were registered, documented and computerized within two years. The revision of the type specimens was carried out by the malacologist Alberto Martínez-Ortí. Some of the specimens have been used in the creation of the Museum's reference collection of the molluscs of Catalonia, a project that is still underway. Other specimens are on display in the Island of Science permanent exhibition in the Museum Blau dedicated to classification and nomenclature. Data from the collection can be consulted on-line at the Barcelona Natural History Museum's website. The scientific bibliography of Miquel Bech is available for consultation in this department.
Kingdom coverage Animalia
Taxon coverage Bivalvia, Chondrinidae (strength), Clausiliidae (strength), Gastropoda, Helicoidea (strength), Hydrobiidae (strength), Hygromiidae (strength), Oxychilidae (strength)
Common name coverage freshwater bivalves, freshwater mussels, freshwater snails, land snails, naiads, slugs
Geospatial coverage Andorra, Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Catalonia (strength), Iberian Peninsula, Iberian Pyrenees, Morocco, Spain (strength)
Collectors Aguado Martín, Luis Óscar
Allemant, Claudia
Alonso, María Rosario
Altaba, Cristian R.
Altimira, Ignasi
Altimiras i Roset, Jacint
Altimita Aleu, Carles
Arrébola Burgos, José Ramón
Auroux Poblador, Lluís
Bachs Pujol, A.
Bech i Taberner, Miquel
Bech, Jaume
Bech, Maria Teresa
Bellés i Ros, Xavier
Beneito, Ramon
Boguñà, Eduard
Bros Caton, Vicenç
Burgués, Vicens
Cadevall Solé, Jordi
Canals, Montserrat
Cobos Sánchez, Antonio
Comas Navarro, Jordi
Corbella i Alonso, Jordi
Damians, Jordi
Domenech Caler, Vicente
Díaz, Francisco
Elías, José
Escolà Boada, Oleguer
Español i Coll, Francesc
Faci, Guillermo
Fadrique Chico, Florentí
Fernández de Villalta, J.
Fernández, Guillem
González Silvestre, Josep Vicent
Gorchs, Montserrat
Guillamón, C.
Gàsser, Zenó
Herrero-Borgoñón, J. J.
Ibáñez, Miguel
Julià, Lluís
Larraz, Luis M.
López Bech, A.
López Bech, Laura
López Pita, A.
Manga, Yolanda
Martorell, José
Nebot Obón, Jordi
Orozco Sanchís, Albert
Picañol, Carme
Pino, Joseba
Pipó, Francisca
Pérez De Gregorio, Josep Joaquim
Pérez Quintero, J. C.
Ramírez, Fermí
Ribes, Jordi
Riu, Maria Rosa
Rolán, Emilio
Serrano, Gustau
Solé, S.
Valledor de Lozoya, Arturo
Viader, J. Maria
Vilella Tejedo, Manuel
Vilella, Joan
Vives i Duran, Joan
Vives i Noguera, Eduard
Yélamos, Tomás
Collection type Preserved
Primary purpose Research
Include types Yes
Grouping principle Taxonomic
Formations periods ca. 1950-2006
Development statuses Closed
Collection extents 28 lots of type specimens, 29200 specimens, 3144 lots, 450 species
Documentation state Documentary control of 100% of lots (register, inventory and computerization). Identification to species level by Miquel Bech, with nomenclature updated for documentation. Revision of the type specimens carried out by Alberto Martínez Ortí.
Object class shells
Specimen preservation methods No Treatment
McGinley conservation statuses Level 8
Conservation status date 20-10-2014 (dd-mm-yyyy)
Institution Natural Science Museum of Barcelona - Non-Arthropod Invertebrates Department
Parent collection Collection of continental 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 collections Personal archive of Miquel Bech.

Related material Bech, M., 1990. Fauna malacològica de Catalunya. Mol·luscs terrestres i d'aigua dolça. Treballs de la Institució Catalana d'Història Natural, 12: 1-229.

Bibliografia científica de Miquel Bech i Taberner. Disponible per a la seva consulta al Departament d'Invertebrats no Artròpodes, Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona (desembre de 2006).

González Silvestre, J. V. & Ríos Jiménez, F., 2014. Miquel Bech. In Memorian. Gota a gota, nº 4: 88-99. Grupo de Espeleología de Villacarrillo, G. E. V. (ed).

Valledor de Lozoya, A., 2007. Necrológicas. Recuerdo de Miquel Bech. Noticiario de la Sociedad Española de Malacología, nº 47: 24-27.