Ichthyology Collection

The Ichthyology Collection is one of the oldest and most significant fish collections in Australia, representing 150 years of acquisition from a wide variety of sources and comprising some 36 000 lots and 350 000 specimens.

It includes fishes (sharks, rays, chimaeroids, jawless and bony fishes) as well as representatives of the lancelets (primitive chordates belonging to the subphylum Cephalochordata). The collection also contains the world’s most comprehensive representation of fishes from marine, estuarine and freshwater environments of south-eastern and southern Australian waters, as well as a broad spectrum of the world’s fish fauna.

The majority of the collection is comprised of specimens in 70% alcohol, with subcollections of ethanol-fixed and frozen tissues, a larval fish collection, a dry and skeletal collection, an X-ray and photographic collection.

The collection is used for research and exhibition purposes, with the research component having increased significantly with the growth of the tissue collection.