The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences' Fishes Collection contains approximately 1.3 million specimens (110,000+ lots). It is one of the largest and most complete regional collections in the United States
and currently meets the criteria of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists for recognition as a National Center Ichthyological Collection. Founded in the late 1800s, the collection consists of approximately 75% North Carolina material, although 48 states, 42 countries, and more than 1948 species are represented. Important recent acquisitions include large collections from Duke, North Carolina State, Stockton State, and Western Carolina universities, Mars Hill College, and the University of North Carolina’s Institute of Marine Sciences. The collection houses fluid-preserved specimens, cleared and stained material, skeletons, tissues for molecular analyses, and all supporting legacy data.