Section Mollusca

The Mollusca Section tries to combine aumenting the scientific value of one of the largest molluscan collections in Europe with performing a wide variety of modern systematic research on molluscs.

Janolus rebeccae

Janolus rebeccae SCHRÖDL, 1996 (Gastropoda: Nudibranchia)

The molluscan collection

houses an estimated 400,000 samples with approx. 2 million specimens collected from anywhere in the world during 200 years. Most samples refer to dry shells, but there is a rapidly growing “wet collection” of scientifically especially valuable, entire specimens stored in ethanol as well. Storage and preservation conditions are excellent.

The state of inventory

is still limited to rough estimations. Up to 50,000 species, half the known number of molluscs worldwide, may be represented. Within the framework of an ongoing inventory project (“MOlluscan TYpes of MUnich, HAmburg and CIsmar”) we documented primary (name bearing) types of more than 580 species. Detailed information including media files is available online via SYSTAX (Evertebrata II). Secondary type specimens may refer to about 1000 species that are being processed at present. A series of type catalogs (see publications of M. Schrödl) is going to be published successively. From 1996 on, comprehensive information on all sample entries has been continuously entered into databases. In addition, all historic aplacophoran, polyplacophoran, monoplacophoran, scaphopod, patellogastropod and vetigastropod samples were already incorporated, others will follow. At the moment, our relational database (SPECIFY) comprises data sets of over 35,000 collection lots that are easily accessible now. Information is given upon request (please contact Enrico Schwabe).

Systematic and geographic focus

historically was on palaearctic pulmonate gastropods and limnic bivalves; enormous numbers of shells document diversity, distribution and environmental conditions in the past and are available to be studied by specialists (Pulmonata list).

Contrasting to other German research collections, our actual interest concentrates especially on marine molluscs. The recently established special collections of Antarctic (micro)molluscs, worldwide polyplacophorans and worldwide opisthobranchs are product of and subject to current research. They already are amongst the most complete ones on a global scale. Their special significance is due to including material fixed and preserved for multiple purposes such as molecular, histological or ultrastructural studies.