Els exemplars tipus de les col·leccions malacològiques del Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona i del Museu Valencià d’Història Natural

Martínez-Ortí, A., Uribe, F.
© 2008 Copyright belongs to the authors, who license the journal Arxius de Miscel·lània Zoològica to publish the paper under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License, which permits its distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original authors and source, the journal Arxius de Miscel·lània Zoològica, are cited.
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Els exemplars tipus de les col·leccions malacològiques del Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona i del Museu Valencià d’Història Natural

Martínez-Ortí, A., Uribe, F.

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Molluscan type specimens in the Natural Science Museum of Barcelona and the Natural History Museum of Valencia
Although the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature has recommended publishing catalogues on biological type specimens, the main reason for publishing this catalogue in our case is the practical result of assuming responsibility for our museum collections. When the arduous work of so many past and present researchers results in their entrusting our museums with these type specimens, we cannot disregard the obligation to ensure the information on these types is published in the most practical way possible.


Los ejemplares tipo de las colecciones malacológicas del Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona y del Museu Valencià d’Història Natural
Publicar catálogos de ejemplares tipo es una recomendación efectuada por la Comisión Internacional de Nomenclatura Zoológica, pero en nuestro caso la publicación del presente catálogo ha sido ante todo la consecuencia práctica de asumir un sentido de responsabilidad con respecto a las colecciones de nuestros museos. Cuando la labor histórica y reciente de tantos investigadores se ha traducido en la confianza de depositar especímenes tipo en estos centros no puede soslayarse la obligación, ni tampoco el interés, de publicar del modo más práctico posible la información referida a los ‘tipos’.


Els exemplars tipus de les col·leccions malacològiques del Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona i del Museu Valencià d’Història Natural
Publicar catàlegs d’exemplars tipus és una recomanació feta per la Comissió Internacional de Nomenclatura Zoològica, però en el nostre cas la publicació del present catàleg ha estat abans de tot la conseqüència pràctica d’assumir un sentit de responsabilitat amb relació a les col·leccions dels nostres museu. Quan la tasca històrica i recent de tants investigadors s’ha traduït en la confiança de dipositar espècimens tipus en aquests centres no podem defugir l’obligació, ni tampoc l’interès, de publicar de la manera més pràctica possible la informació referida als ‘tipus’.


Publication of catalogues of type specimens is recommended by the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, but compilation of this catalogue was mainly prompted by a sense of commitment towards the preservation of our collections. As the past and present works of so many researchers have been transferred to our institutions through donation of type specimens, we recognised the need and the interest in publishing data on these collections in as practical a way as possible. Those of us involved in this arduous task at the Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona and at the Museu Valencià d’Història Natural devoted much of our professional time to locating potential type specimens housed in the museums’ storage facilities. Data on these specimens were then scrutinized and compared with references provided in the taxonomic literature so as to confirm the validity of a type or to suggest the need to assign a new category of type for a determined sample  (Martínez–Ortí & Robles, 1996Martínez–Ortí, 1999Martínez–Ortí, 2001Martínez–Ortí et al., 2004). Compiling this catalogue as a joint venture between the two museums was the catalyst that spurred us on to reach our goal.

Joint ventures of this type are unusual. However, we feel that it is helpful for potential readers to dispose of a catalogue of type specimens in which detailed information from two institutions is provided in a way that is as clear and as explicit as possible. There is a growing trend in communication practice to draw sources of information together rather than keep them separate for personal or institutional self-centredness. This alliance between two museums to jointly publish a catalogue of collections is a modest but significant example of federation of data. Furthermore, we consider it adds considerable value to the publication of a catalogue of type specimens such as this.

A brief historical tour of the collections of molluscs at each of the two museums is given on the continuing pages, immediately before the catalogue itself. The project of publishing this type catalogue has also served to foster the interest of scientists from fields other than malacology. We are highly satisfied that a study on the history of Catalan malacology until the end of the 19th century is about to be published (Gómez–Alba, in press).

The structure of the catalogue is essentially pragmatic and oriented to the user. The
information provided for each species or subspecies with a type specimen in our
museums includes:

  • taxonomic hierarchy from Order to Family. The general references considere to indicate the higher rank taxonomy are those of the project Fauna Europaea (<http://www.faunaeur.org/>) and the compilation by K. C. Vaught: A Classification of the Living Mollusca, published by the American Malacologists, Inc. in 1989.
  • original scientific name, author and year of publication.
  • complete bibliographic reference where the new taxon is described. If needed, in long papers, the page and/or figure numbers are given to facilitate location of specific information.
  • transcription of the type locality, as mentioned in the aforementioned paper. Comments are given in some cases to update toponymy or help location on a map.
  • type specimens housed in our institutions, with data concerning category of the type, record number, geographic provenance, number of specimens and preservation method, and also the collection it may have belonged to prior to housing in the museum. The acronyms are MZB for zoology collections at the Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona and MVHN for those at the Museu Valencià d’Història Natural.
  • type specimens housed at other institutions.
  • current name.
  • complete bibliographic reference of papers where the taxon is reviewed and updated. Explanations on updating reasons are included.
  • nomenclatural comments that could be of special interest to readers.
  • brief gallery of photographic images.

Each taxon fills a whole page of this catalogue. From this, all useful information can be extracted without codes or cross-references to other pages. Taxons are in strict alphabetical order.

Exact copies of this electronic catalogue have been distributed (in accordance with the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, article 8.6) to the libraries of the following institutions:

  • Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Madrid
  • Naturalis, Nationaal Natuurhistorisch Museum, Leiden
  • Real Sociedad Española de Historia Natural, Madrid
  • Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
  • Universitat de Barcelona
  • Universitat de València

A further copy has been sent to the Zoological Record, published by BIOSIS UK, in
accordance with recommendation 8A of the ICZN.


Gómez–Alba, J., in press. Historia de la malacologia catalana (siglos XVIII–XIX). Monografies del Museu de Ciències Naturals.
Martínez–Ortí, A. & Robles, F., 1996. Sobre los ejemplares tipo de algunos gasterópodos terrestres valencianos. Libro de resúmenes: 76–77 (D. Moreno, Ed.). XI Congreso Nacional de Malacología.
Martínez–Ortí, A., 1999. Moluscos terrestres testáceos de la Comunidad Valenciana. Tesi doctoral, Universitat de València. 743 pp. + 31 làm.
Martínez–Ortí, A., 2001. The mollusc type specimen’s preliminary study of the Museu Valencià d’Història Natural (Valencia, Spain): 209 (L. von Salvini–Plawen, J. Voltzow, H. Sattmann & G. Steiner, Eds.). World Congress of Malacology, Viena.
Martínez–Ortí, A., Uribe, F. & Nebot, J., 2004. Preliminary study of the type specimens of the malacological collections deposited in the Museu de Zoologia de Barcelona (Spain). In: Molluscan Megadiversity: Sea, land and freshwater: 96–97. World Congress of Malacology, Perth, Western Australia.

Index Volume 06 (2008)