Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona


Science Research Natural diversity Arthropodiversity

Biodiversity studies: follow-up of modern and historical species

The study and review of the Museum’s historical and present-day collections is one of our priority projects, as it is the only way of ascertaining both the scientific and the museistic value of the heritage preserved by the Museum. Collection reviews often take years to complete and involve a number of different specialists. The study, or review of the study material, is carried out at the Museum itself, or through loans. These taxonomic reviews are usually published in catalogue format, setting out families, subfamilies, genera or new descriptions, designations or taxa citations (see publications section).

In addition, the Arthropods Department works closely with the technicians of certain natural parks and spaces, collaborating in the active follow-up of insect or other arthropod diversity. Studies such as these, notwithstanding the added difficulty of having to work with a large and varied number of specimens and having to coordinate a wide range of specialists, bring in recent specimens of considerable scientific and, therefore, museistic value. In addition, the data obtained from these studies can be useful when it comes to redesigning the policies concerning conservation of the actual parks or spaces.

Research projects

  • Review of collections

    Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona

    Study to determine and review taxa of the different groups of arthropods by specialists, both in-house and external, national or foreign. The study focuses on specimens from the historical collection but also on the new entries from research studies. Currently under review is the collection of TYPES of Coleoptera, Lepidoptera and, shortly, Neuroptera (Navàs Collection). The general collection is undergoing a review of the different groups or families of Coleoptera, Ptinidae, Chrysomelidae, Cerambicidae (Iberian Peninsula and Indomalaya region), Dermestidae, Meloidae, Cantharidae and Staphylinidae, among others; we also have specialists in Diptera, Araneids and in Pseudoscorpions, basically. The review work is preceded by the necessary arrangements for consultation or loan and is followed by a number of tasks involving documentation and control, based on the different databases generated.

  • Invasive insect species in Catalonia. Practicum I, II and Final Project

    2 years

    There are high-profile exotic species that make the news because they spread like plagues in Catalonia’s agricultural and forestry systems.  However, other exotic species have gone unnoticed and have managed to adapt and become so well established throughout the territory that no one even remembers they were aliens not long ago. The goal of the project is to create a reference collection of the species of exotic insects in Catalonia. They will be studied on a case-by-case basis for the purpose of preparing graphic datasheets stating the place of origin, probable route of entry, moment of arrival (if known), current distribution, size of populations and economic repercussions (if any) etc.

    Work team: Anna Garcia de la Barrera, Juli Pujade Villar and Berta Caballero.

  • Previous projects

    List and pre-2014 related publications of the research projects on Arthropod diversity.