The Division of Fishes maintains a large collection of tissues and DNA extracts in the NMNH Biorepository. A small collection of recently collected whole specimens fixed in 95% ethanol is also available.
Genetic samples may also be requested from formalin fixed specimens, ethanol fixed material dating prior to 1920, or dried osteological material. For these latter sources we require that requestors provide evidence, preferably in publication, of prior success with DNA extraction from antique or formalin fixed materials.
Current Covid-19 Operating Status
While the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History exhibition spaces will partially open to the public on June 18th, our collections remain closed to most staff and all researchers, and the museum’s COVID-19 loan moratorium remains in effect. Currently, there is no capacity to accommodate collections activities including visits, image requests, loans, and shipments. While there is no current date set for when on-site collections activities will resume, we will update as soon as this changes.