Collection Information


The American Museum of Natural History's ichthyological collection comprises approximately 2,000,000 specimens, 200,000 lots, 35,000 skeletons, 2,500 tissues samples, and 500 types. The scope of the collections is worldwide with special strengths in African, Australian, Central American, Chinese, and Malagasy freshwater fishes as well as Malagasy, Bahamian and Gulf of Mexico nearshore fishes.


Specimen Acquisition Policy


To acquire specimens of as many species as possible in order to increase research potential of the collection on a global scale and to anticipate the needs of future generations of biologists. To acquire collections from geographic regions where future collecting may be difficult (e.g., regions undergoing profound ecological change). To accumulate significant holdings in those taxonomic groups and geographic areas appropriate to the research interests of the current personnel. To serve as a depository for important voucher specimens upon request by outside investigators. To accept existing collections of scientific value from institutions no longer dedicated to their care, subject to our ability to provide the necessary financial support for the transportation and curation of these collections.