Guide to collections

Natural Science Museum of Barcelona - Arthropods Department

Name Natural Science Museum of Barcelona
Subunits name Arthropods Department
Acronym(s) MCNB-MZB-ART
Institution type Museum
Description The arthropods collection is quantitatively the largest and the taxonomically the most diversified of the Museum's collections (MCNB). It consists of approximately 1,500,000 units, encompassing the majority of orders in the different taxonomic classes that make up the arthropods phylum in general. However the best represented class are the insects and among these, beetles, as the collection of the most prominent scientific interest.

The first arthropods material collected at the MCNB formed part of the 19th century entomological collections, such as those of Arthur Martorell or Daniel Müller. These old collections, however, suffer from incomplete information on their collection, therefore they are interesting on a historical level, but can not be used so much by current research methods. The first collection of scientific rigour was that of Ascensi Codina, which include specimens of cicindelid beetles from around the world.

The largest and best-represented collection of arthropods is that of the beetles (Coleoptera). The collecting and scientific work of Dr. Francesc Español, director and curator of the museum (from the '30s to the '80s), left the Museum a legacy of great scientific interest, with a large number of new taxa, new geographical references and variation pending examination, etc. and generally inherit a valuable entomological collection where the beetles were the protagonists. Its activity also forming new educational entomologists, gave fruit, so his entomological research work has been ongoing since then, the disciples and the current technology, resulting in a collection very active and important new income for the bottom of the specimen collection.

Among the beetles, it is worth highlighting the taxonomic groups that have been more studied and collected, such as the cave leiodids, the tenebrionids (darkling beetles) and anobiids (wood borers). In addition, the transfers of other important collections by researchers and/or naturalists have added greater value to the collection.

Another order of insects that is well represented, especially with regard to the Iberian Peninsula, is that of the lepidopterans (butterflies). This collection of day and night butterflies was created with very different contributions, but highlights are that of Ignasi de Sagarra, who was also curator of the Museum, and that of Lluís Domènech i Torres, grandson of the architect who built the Three Dragons Castle, now the base of the Museum.

Among the arthropods, prominent due to its singularity:the collection of type specimens as they are unique specimens which have been used to describe new taxa. The approximate volume of this collection is of 13,000 typical specimens, in their majority beetles. It is worth mentioning the Mossèn L. Navás collection, of neuropteroid insects, among others.
Address Pg. Picasso, s/n
Postal code 08003
City Barcelona
State/region Catalunya
Country Spain
Telephone +34 93 256 22 22
Fax +34 93 310 49 99