Vertebrate Collection/fish

< Vertebrate Collection

Welcome to the Gustavus Fish Collection!

Much of the original Biology Department fish collection (specimens and field notebooks) was destroyed in the tornado of 1998. As a result, many of the specimens now only exist as a teaching collection serving a variety of aquatic and vertebrate courses at Gustavus including Aquatic Biology, Vertebrate Biology, Comparative Anatomy, and Fish & Fisheries.

The University of Washington gave a permanent loan of teaching specimens to Dr. Carlin, which are now available for use by Gustavus students and faculty for research. There are 58 lots (at least 140 individual specimens) mostly from the freshwater and marine habitats of the Pacific Northwest. Northern gamefishes like rainbow trout and mountain whitefish are present, but so are commercial seafood species (capelin, Pacific hake) and evolutionary wonders (seahorses, hagfish, parrotfish and frogfish). All of the specimens are preserved either in alcohol or as dried specimens, but none have specific locality data. Without a properly recorded place and time of collection, these specimens are not useful in studies of ecology or evolution. However they are available for use by students interested in other research projects, such as comparative anatomy.

Of the species diversity in the entire collection, an estimated 40% is shown here. Thirteen families of freshwater fish and several families of marine fish are represented in the collection. Within each family the individual specimens are sorted alphabetically by scientific name. Specimens are shown on a cm scale. Any available collection data is provided with each specimen. Finally, each specimen has a link to a corresponding page in Fishbase, the most comprehensive fish database in the world.

For more information about the Gustavus Biology Fish collection, please contact Mr. Eric Elias ( or Dr. Jon Grinnell (


[Batrachoididae] (Toadfishes)

[Catostomidae] (Suckers)

[Centrarchidae] (Sunfishes)

[Cyprinidae] (Minnows)

[Diodontidae] (Porcupinefishes)

[Gasterosteidae] (Sticklebacks)

[Ictaluridae] (Catfishes)

[Ostraciidae] (Boxfishes)

[Petromyzontidae] (Lampreys)

[Percidae] (Perches)

[Pomacentridae] (Damselfishes and Clownfishes)

[Synodontidae] (Lizardfishes)