TNHC Ichthyology Collection

Occurrence dataset published by University of Texas at Austin, Biodiversity Collections

  • 60,109

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Full Title

TNHC Ichthyology Collection


The Ichthyology Collection of the Texas Natural History Collections is part of The University of Texas at Austin and includes over 60,000 lots (with over 1,000,000 specimens), most of which are “wet” collections preserved in 70% ethanol occupying 1,586 square feet, spread out over two rooms. We have a small selection of larval fish from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands maintained in 10% formalin and have just recently received over 1800 estimated new lots of larval samples from the Trinity River. Our skeletal collection contains 800 cleared and stained fish, as well as 425 dry skeletal preps. Many of the skeletal specimens originate from W. W. Dalquest and his students. We also have a tissue collection currently with over 1000 samples preserved in 100% ethanol frozen in liquid nitrogen. Our type collection includes 3 holotypes, 110 paratypes, and 1 allotype. Our holdings were collected between 1927 and present and there was a significant increase in collections during 1950–1980, mainly by Clark Hubbs and his students. In 1993 we acquired the collections of the University of Texas at Austin’s Marine Science Institute, totaling ~ 3,000 lots of ethanol preserved specimens from the Gulf of Mexico. Between 2000 and 2011 we acquired collections of ethanol preserved specimens from Midwestern University, Texas Tech University, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, The University of Texas at Brownsville and Lamar University. Our collection is rapidly growing and many of our incoming specimens come from Dean Hendrickson and his students, museum staff, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and various researchers.


Each record in this dataset refers to a specimen (or specimens)and these records are thus verifiable via specimen examination and examination of original museum documentation such as field notes and original labels. These data are provided for the purpose of scientific study, so that researchers may either use the data directly or to determine which specimens might be needed to address specific research questions.

Additional Information

Temporal coverages

Date range: Jan 1, 1913 - Jan 1, 2016

Language of Metadata


Language of Data


Adam Cohen
Collections Manager
Texas Natural History Collections 10100 Burnet RD, PRC 176/R4000 78758-4445 Austin TX United States +01 512-471-8845
Metadata author
Melissa Casarez
Assistant Collections Manager
Texas Natural History Collections 10100 Burnet RD, PRC 176/R4000 78758-4445 Austin TX United States +01 512-471-4823
Administrative contact
Adam Cohen
Collections Manager
Texas Natural History Collections 10100 Burnet RD, PRC 176/R4000 78758-4445 Austin TX United States +01 512-471-8845


Published by

University of Texas at Austin, Biodiversity Collections

Publication Date

Dec 22, 2016

Registration Date

Oct 11, 2010

Hosted by


Served by

IPT - Hosted by VertNet



Alternative Identifiers

External Data

Metadata Documents

45,971 Georeferenced data

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Most of our specimens are from the freshwaters of Texas, with some marine collections from the Gulf of Mexico. Our Texas and Gulf of more


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Other Contacts

David Bloom
VertNet Programmer
David Bloom
VertNet Coordinator
John Wieczorek
Information Architect
Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC Berkeley
Dean Hendrickson
Texas Natural History Collections 10100 Burnet RD, PRC 176/R4000 78758-4445 Austin TX United States +01 512-471-9774
Point of contact
Adam Cohen

Taxonomic Coverage

The Ichthyology Collection contains 1,796 species from 794 genera in 267 families, in 52 orders (following Nelson, 2006).

Actinopterygii, Elasmobranchii

TNHC Ichthyology Collection

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Base funding is provided through the University of Texas, however between 2006 and 2013 the Fishes of Texas Project (, which is based at our collection, has generated $1,793,101, in part to verify specimen identifications, find/correct data errors, georeference, and digitize specimens and related documentation in the TNHC. This funding comes from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. National Science Foundation, and the Texas Army National Guard.

Project Personnel

Point of contact
Adam Cohen



Study extent

We have no restrictions related to collection locality and accept specimens collected globally, but are primarily interested in specimens from Texas and neighboring Mexican and U.S. states. Specimens must be legally collected. No restrictions on date of collection.

Sampling description

Specimens are collected by various and often undocumented means. In many cases that information, when available, is recorded in our database.

Quality control

Historically the collection has had a single data validation step after cataloging, in which the catalog data was checked against the verbatim specimen labels. Errors have also been corrected after being pointed out by researchers using the data and specimens. Since the inception of the Fishes of Texas Project ( in 2006, we implemented a more systematic approach to detecting potential species determination and data entry errors. Starting in 2013 we’ll also be photographing all incoming specimens and associated labels as they are cataloged and those photos will be made public so users of our data will be able to compare the raw information to our database.

Method Steps

  1. Incoming specimens are accessioned, transferred to 70% ethanol (if needed), sorted, identified to lowest possible taxonomic level (usually species), cataloged into a Specify database which assigns each lot a unique catalog number, labels are printed, information on printed label is verified against handwritten labels in jar for accuracy and inserted into specimen jars.

Collection name

Texas Natural History Collections, Ichthyology Collection

Collection Identifier

Parent Collection Identifier

University of Texas

Specimen Preservation method