The Brasilian fishes of Spix

The Brasilian fishes of Spix

Section Ichthyology - Collections

According to BALSS (1926) the SPIX collection originally included 116 fish specimens. However, SPIX died 15.May.1826 before he was able to finish his work on the Brazilian fishes. MARTIUS commissioned AGASSIZ, PhD student in Munich from 1827-1830, to prepare a report on the fishes of Brazil and to complete SPIX’s work on “Selecta genera et species piscium Brasiliensium”, the first monograph on Brazilian fishes. He received SPIX specimens from MARTIUS (BALSS, 1926; KOTTELAT, 1988), but during his work AGASSIZ transferred these specimens to Concise in Switzerland when he returned to his father’s home in 1830 (KOTTELAT, 1988). From this early collection on Brazilian fishes 52 specimens have been re-discovered by KOTTELAT (1988) during a revision in the ichthyological collection of the Museé d’Histoire Naturelle de Neuchâtel. This SPIX material was bought by the Museé d’Histoire Naturelle de Neuchâtel in 1834 together with major parts of the private collection of LOUIS AGASSIZ. If the total number of original SPIX specimens in BALSS (1926) hold true, nearly half of the material was saved in Neuchâtel; except three tongue bones of Arapaima gigas, ZSM 26725 (3), which survived in the herbarium of the Botanische Staatssammlung München.

Sturisoma rostratum

Sturisoma rostratum

Literature

H. Balss, H. 1926. Geschichte der Zoologischen Sammlungen. In: Karl Alexander von Müller. Die wissenschaftlichen Sammlungen der Ludwig-Maximilians Universität zu München. Chronik zur Jahrhundertfeier, im Auftrag des Akademischen Senats herausgegeben. 300-315.

Kottelat, M. 1988. Authorship, dates of publication, status and types of Spix and Agassiz’s Brazilian fishes. Spixiana 11 (1): 69-93.