The Mollusc Collection


The Mollusc Collection, established in 1932 by Prof. G. Haas, holds vast collection of Middle Eastern molluscs from all three habitats: marine (the Red and Mediterranean Seas), freshwater and terrestrial (from Turkey in the north to Egypt in the south, including Cyprus). The collection serves as an important database for tracking the Lessepsian Migration of molluscs, species migrating from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea along the Israeli shores and changing the Mediterranean fauna.

The mollusc collection is the largest in the Middle East and it is continuously expanding. In addition to local species, the collection also contains material from all around the world. These specimens were mainly acquired by donations of entire collections, including the malacological libraries, of G.S. Coen (Venice, Italy), R. Neuville (Jerusalem/Paris, France) and A. Blok (Rottingdean, England).

At present the collection houses some 1,000,000 specimens coming from 100,000 samples that represent 20,000 species. Among the specimens ca. 3,000 are type specimens. Most samples consist of shells only, but the collection contains also specimens preserved in alcohol. The collection also includes a library of 1,100 books, 320 volumes of periodicals and 20,000 reprints.

The collection serves for research, academic teaching, assistance to other institutes, and public education.

A Glance into Mollusca

Type Material

The mollusc collection is rich in type material. Especially in the former Coen and Blok collections are hundreds of samples with the indication that they consist of type material. All these types: holotypes, paratypes, syntypes, lectotypes and paralectotypes, are currently in the progress of being separated from the general collection and stored in the type collection. This is a time consuming process, because all the supposed type samples have to be compared with their original descriptions.


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