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Science Research

Natural diversity

Biospeleology

The line of research in biospeleology and prospecting of hypogeous fauna is both institutional and historical, as it dates back some time. It was promoted by the eminent entomologist, curator and director of the Museum, Dr. Francesc Español i Coll, a tireless, excellent teacher of young entomologists, and particularly speleologists, many of whom are still today loyal collaborators of the Museum.

This long-standing harvesting project has resulted in a collection far in excess of 100,000 specimens, representing all the members of the hypogeous Arthropod phylum (crustaceans, arachnids, myriapoda, insects and entognatha). The collection of cavernicolous Coleoptera, however, is one of the best in Europe, and contains a considerable number of type specimens. The collection is fundamentally Iberian, but is also sourced from numerous campaigns in Morocco’s Atlas region.

These collection projects are done thanks to the invaluable collaboration of the members of the Catalan Biospeleology Association (BIOSP).

Research projects

  • Arthropods of the Hypogeum Environment of the Network of Natural Parks of the Diputació de Barcelona

    Year
    2020
    Supported
    Diputació de Barcelona

    The primary aim is to ascertain the state of conservation of some of the hypogeous invertebrate species which are currently threatened or protected in Catalonia, as well as the state of conservation of their habitat.

  • Hypogeum fauna in Morocco (Atlas Project)

    Year
    2020
    Supported
    Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona

    As a result of the various expeditions to Morocco by members of the Catalan Biospeleology Association (BIOSP) and Museum technical staff, a considerable number of new species of troglobitic Coleoptera have been described, notably: a new sub-genus and six new species of Carabidae: Trechinae, genus Trechus (described as genus Antoinella), one new species of Carabidae, genus Laemostenus, three new species of Staphylinidae, genera: Domene and Lobrathium, and one new species of Curculionidae, genus Torneuma.

  • Previous projects

    List of previous biospeleology projects, prior to 2014