The Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change

is a research museum of the Leibniz Association


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.


The ZFMK fish collection now contains more than 140,000 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.

Sammlung Vorbereitung

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 Marius Lambrecht 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.


Contact person

Head of Vertebrate Department
Curator Ichthyology
+49 228 9122-255
+49 228 9122-212
f.herder [at]

Digital Collection Catalogue

Visit and browse our fish collection online!