Guide to collections

Permanent exhibition of non-arthropod invertebrates

Name Permanent exhibition of non-arthropod invertebrates
Alternative name MCNB. Col. permanent exhibition non-arthropod invertebrates
Cite as Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona (MCNB). Permanent exhibition of non-arthropod invertebrates
MCNB. Col. permanent exhibition non-arthropod invertebrates
Description This collection contains specimens from the Non-Arthropod Invertebrate collection that is part of the Planeta Vida permanent exhibition of the Museu Blau. The invertebrate specimens selected illustrate various themes such as diversity, environmental adaptation, evolution, nomenclature and classification, in both the main exhibition and the thematic side events known as Science Islands. The collection consists of whole organisms, shells, and invertebrate skeletons, colonies and eggs, preserved as dry and wet specimens in 70% ethanol. In all, there are 470 specimens corresponding to 183 lots and 128 species, of which most belong to the phylum Mollusca (75% of lots). The phylums Cnidaria, Porifera, Echinodermata, Annelida and Brachiopoda (in descending numerical order) complete the invertebrate non-arthropods on display. Included in the collection are specimens from historical collections (e.g. Francesc Martorell founder collection and the collections of Artur Bofill, Joan Baptista d'Aguilar-Amat, Joan Rosals, Manuel de Chía and Baltasar Serradell, and from the Naples Zoological Station and Santander Marine Biology Station), as well as more recent collections such as those of Luis Gasull, Joan Rosal and Miquel Bech. Wide-ranging geographical cover in both the terrestrial and marine sections, extending from the Mediterranean (mainly the coastal areas of Catalonia and the Balearic Islands) to the lands and oceans of the planet’s remaining continents. 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 at the website of the Barcelona Natural History Museum and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility website.
Provenance The current exhibition in the Museu Blau (opened in 2011) is built upon a selection of non-arthropod invertebrates from the Museum’s former permanent exhibition (in the Castle of the Three Dragons) and from other elements of its collections that had never previously been put on display. The oldest specimens originate from the shell collection of Francesc Martorell, part of the founder collection of the Martorell Museum (1879). As well, there is material from other historical collections incorporated into the Museum’s collections at later dates, including those of Joan Baptista d'Aguilar-Amat, Artur Bofill, Joan Rosals, Manuel de Chía, Baltasar Serradell and the Jaume Balmes Institute. The oldest wet specimens are part of the collection of the Oceanographic Section organized at the beginning of 1917 with material from the Naples Zoological Station and the Santander Marine Biology Station. Other samples include donations by collectors and other sources associated with the Museum. Of note amongst the most recent donations are the specimens originating from the collections of Luis Gasull (donated in 1983), Joan Rosal (2000) and Miquel Bech (2009). Francesc Uribe has been the curator of the Department of Non-Arthropod Invertebrates since 1997 and since then the inventory and digitalization of the Museum’s whole collection has been carried out to specimen lot level.
Kingdom coverage Animalia
Taxon coverage Annelida, Brachiopoda, Cnidaria, Echinodermata, Mollusca, Porifera
Common name coverage corals, cuttlefish, jellyfish, land snails, leeches, marine worms, nautilus, sea cucumbers, sea hares, sea snails, sea stars, sea urchins, sea ​​anemones, snails, sponges, squids, starfish, worms
Geospatial coverage Antarctica, Antilles, Atlantic Ocean, Balearic Islands (strength), Catalonia (strength), Gulf of Naples, Hawaii, Iberian Peninsula, India, Indian Ocean, Mauritius, Mediterranean Sea (strength), Pacific Ocean, Philippines, Southeastern Asia, archipelagos and islands of Oceania
Collectors Aguilar-Amat, Joan Baptista d'
Altimira Aleu, Carles
Bech i Taberner, Miquel
Bibiloni, Maria Antònia
Bofill i Poch, Artur
Cuatrecasas, J.
Español i Coll, Francesc
Font i Quer, Pius
Gasull Martínez, Luis
Giménez, Carmen
Haas, Friedrich
Novellas Bofill, Santiago
Orozco Sanchís, Albert
Collection type Preserved
Primary purpose Exhibition
Include types No
Grouping principle Taxonomic
Formations periods 2010-2011
Development statuses Static
Collection extents 128 species, 183 lots, 470 specimens
Documentation state Documentary control of 100% of lots (register, inventory and computerization). All specimens identified to species level, with nomenclature updated for the exhibition (incorporated into Museum Plus).
Object class colonies, eggs, invertebrate skeletons, shells, whole organisms
Specimen preservation methods Fluid-preserved, No Treatment
Preparation and conservation Dry and wet material prepared for the exhibition. Periodical quality controls of the preserving fluid of wet specimens. Monitoring of the environmental conditions of storage areas.
McGinley conservation statuses Level 8
Conservation status date 13-10-2014 (dd-mm-yyyy)
Institution Natural Science Museum of Barcelona - Non-Arthropod Invertebrates Department
Subcollections Permanent exhibition of 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)
MCNB General Zoology GBIF online database (date when consulted) (accessed through GBIF data portal,, 2014-10-14)
Col·leccions en línia de Zoologia (MCNB) / Online Zoological Collections (MCNB)
Related collections Collection of marine fauna from the former Oceanographical Section. Collection of marine fauna from the Naples Zoological Station and from the Santander Marine Biology Station.

Related material 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.

Gasull, L., 1964. Las Helicella (Xeroplexa) de Baleares, Gasteropoda, Pulmonata. Boletín de la Sociedad de Historia Natural de Baleares, 10(1-4): 3-67 + 9 láms.

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

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.

Uribe, F. et al., 1994. Museu de Zoologia, guia (Omedes A., coord.). Ajuntament de Barcelona, Regidoria d'Edicions i Publicacions. Barcelona.