Collection of Fishes

The Collection of Fishes serves as the official repository for specimens generated via research by faculty, students, and staff of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at Texas A&M University. Our holdings may be searched by clicking here. Specimens in the Collection of Fishes are the result of expeditions and environmental surveys conducted by faculty, students, and biologists since 1937. The geographic coverage of specimens in the Collection of Fishes is impressive and includes 71 countries, and all 7 continents. Currently, the Collection of Fishes contains approximately 730,000 specimens distributed across 48,700 catalogued lots. This equates to 3,818 species of fishes, from 1,473 genera and 350 families, representing 54 of the 57 recognized orders of fishes.

Micro CT scan of Gobiesox strumosus.

Micro CT scan of Gobiesox strumosus.

Fluid-preserved fishes at the TCWC.

Fluid-preserved fishes at the TCWC.

The majority of specimens are fluid preserved and stored in glass jars, but oversized specimens up to 12 feet are stored in larger tanks. The Collection of Fishes also curates tissue samples (suitable for DNA extraction) obtained from voucher specimens housed within the collection. Tissues are maintained in ultra-cold freezers and are included in our vouchers database. Voucher specimens and tissues are available to researchers at other institutions by request (our loan policy can be accessed here). Cleared and double stained specimens, dry skeleton preparations, otoliths, field notes, x-rays and illustrations make up some of the additional ichthyological resources available through the collection. Specimen records may also be queried on-line at FishNetII. Specimen images and x-rays hosted by the TAMU Libraries can be accessed here.

Mark Charron  (University of the West Indies) and Heather Prestridge (BRTC) snorkeling for clingfish in Trinidad, 2012.

Mark Charron (University of the West Indies) and Heather Prestridge (BRTC) snorkeling for clingfish in Trinidad, 2012.

Students examining specimens during Ichthyology lab at the BRTC.

Students examining specimens during Ichthyology lab at the BRTC.

Students from the University benefit from the collection in many ways. Courses in Ichthyology and Vertebrate Natural History utilize specimens for teaching. Students may also volunteer or intern in the collection in order to receive experience and training in museum curation.

flatfishes

Fluid preserved (top) and cleared and stained (bottom) flatfishes. (photographed by Gary W. Lange, St. Louis)

 

 

The Collection of Fishes has received financial support from the National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Sea Grant Texas, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and others.

 

 

 

 

 

Recent Publications

Britz, R., K.W. Conway & L. Rüber. 2014. Miniatures, morphology and molecules: Paedocypris and its phylogenetic position. Zoological Journal of the Linnean SocietyDOI: 10.1111/zoj.12184.

Conway, K.W., C. Baldwin & M. D. White. 2014. Cryptic diversity and venom glands in the western Atlantic clingfishes of the genus Acyrtus (Teleostei: Gobiesocidae). PLoS ONE 9(5): e97664.

Conway, K.W., R. Britz & D. S. Siegel. 2014. Different on the inside: extreme swimbladder sexual dimorphism in the South Asian torrent minnows. Biology Letters 10: 20140348.

Kim, D. M., K. W. Conway. 2014. Phylogeography of Rhinichthys cataractae (Teleostei: Cyprinidae): pre-glacial colonization across the Continental Divide and Pleistocene diversification within the Rio Grande drainage. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 111: 317-333.

Silveira, Rosana Beatriz, et al. 2014. “Morphological and molecular evidence for the occurrence of three Hippocampus species (Teleostei: Syngnathidae) in Brazil.”Zootaxa 3861.4 (2014): 317-332.

Tashiro, F. and Shinohara, G. 2014. A new species of deep-sea synaphobranchid eel, Haptenchelys parviocularis (Anguilliformes: Synaphobranchidae), from Japan. Ichthyological research [1341-8998] Tashiro yr: 2015 vol: 62 iss: 2 pg: 115 -121

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