Karl Heinz Lüling was the first curator responsible for the fish collection, followed in 1978 by Klaus Busse and 2008 by Fabian Herder.
The collection contains mainly freshwater fishes, with emphasis on South American and later on European, African and Asian species. The present research program focuses on taxonomy, DNA Barcoding, phylogenetics and speciation of freshwater fishes from Asia and Europe.
The fish collection of ZFMK currently includes more than 100000 individuals:
The type material currently consists of*:
- 26 families
- 75 genera
- 130 species
- 81 holo- resp. lectotypes
- 1985 para- resp. paralectotypes
*Herder F, Huylebrouck J, Busse K (2010) Catalogue of type specimens of fishes in the Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig, Bonn. Bonn zoological Bulletin 59, 109-136. (PDF)
The preserved specimens of the ZFMK are stored in dark, cool rooms and over 100 collection cabinets. Periodically, a review of all glasses of the collection takes place to detect leaks in the jars and preserve the specimens from drying out.