Ichthyology is the study of fishes. Fish are the most numerous and diverse vertebrates on earth, with almost 28,000 species known to science and thousands of species yet to be discovered. Ichthyologic research encompasses many branches, and the Division of Fishes serves this research community through the discoveries of our scientists and stewardship of the vast resources of the National Fish Collection.
Access the Collections
We have over 6 million specimens and the world’s largest collection of North American, Neotropical, Caribbean, and West Pacific fish fauna. A majority of the collection consists of specimens in alcohol with supporting collections of genetic, osteological, and cleared and stained material. Additional strengths include our extensive archival collections of illustrations, radiographs, color slides and field documentation.