The Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig
is a research museum of the Leibniz Association
Link to Leibniz Association
Ichthyology is the branch of zoology devoted to the study of fishes. Systematic ichthyologists distinguish more than 34300 extant fish species, a number that continues increasing by several hundred species new to science year by year.
The fish section (Ichthyology) of ZFMK was founded in 1945.
Karl Heinz Lüling was the first curator responsible for the fish collection, followed in 1978 by Klaus Busse and 2008 by Fabian Herder.
Fish collections are typically preserved in alcohol. They serve as permanent references for taxonomy, as records for the occurrence of species in space and time, and provide manifold research opportunities. The oldest specimens of the ZFMK fish collection date back to the founder of the museum, Alexander Koenig. Karl Heinz Lüling was the first curator responsible for the fish collection, followed in 1978 by Klaus Busse and 2008 by Fabian Herder. Serkan Wesel is technician of the ichthyology section and takes care for collection logistics, loans, and digitization.
The ZFMK fish collection now contains more than 100,000 ethanol specimens, and is largely digitized (browse the catalogue). The focus is on freshwater taxa, with emphasis on South American and later on European, African and Asian species. It contains >2000 types (see Herder et al. 2010 for a type catalogue, and the catalogue for an actual overview).
Larger collections integrated within the last years came from the FREDIE project (barcode reference collection for European freshwater fishes), the FSJF collection (Fish Collection Jörg Freyhof – focus on Western Palearctic freshwaters), the inheritance of Lothar Seegers (mainly freshwater fishes from East Africa), the reference collection for northern German fishes by the Hochschule Bremen (Heiko Brunken), and various own field-oriented research projects.
Guest researchers are very welcome, and may use an array of lab infrastructure (e.g. of the morphology lab for collection-based research. Please contact Serkan Wesel for planning your stay, or for loan requests. SYNTHESYS+ provides opportunities for funding research visits of scientists from the EU; get in touch with Fabian Herder for SYNTHESYS+ applications.
Visit and browse our fish collection online!