The Wagner collection

The Wagner collection

Section Ichthyology - Collections

MORITZ WAGNER (1813-1887), professor at the Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, explored Central-South America in 1853 – 1854. A second journey led him to Panama and Ecuador in 1858-1859. However, the major parts of his early collection were lost because inadequate preservation already during his journey. The remaining material was destroyed during an earthquake on 16 th April 1854 (WAGNER, 1870). Most of the material stored in the Old Collection probably dates from his second journey. The zoological material was donated to the “Zoologisch-zootomische Staatsammlung in München” (WAGNER, 1864: 66 [2 as separate]), the early ZSM. SIEBOLD asked RUDOLF KNER to work on the fishes of the Wagner collection (KNER, 1863: 221; WAGNER, 1864: 66 [2 as separate]). KNER accepted, and worked together with his “jungen Freund” [young friend] FRANZ STEINDACHNER on the WAGNER material. The WAGNER Collection comprised at least 72 specimens (22 genera, 32 species); this number of specimens is available from the second part of KNER’s work (1863), where he gives a complete list of all specimens he received from SIEBOLD. However it remains unclear, whether SIEBOLD did sent the complete fish material collected by WAGNER to Vienna, or the Collection contained even more specimens, which have been not exchanged. KNER (1863) described 16 new species and 2 new genera from this material. KNER mentions that both, he and Steindachner did work on the material, but KNER (1863) is the sole author of the “provisional” descriptions published 1863 in “Sitzungsberichten” and thus must be considered as sole author of these species. All new species are indicated by the abbreviation “n.” (nova), the two new genera with “nov. gen.” (novus genus) and formally described with a short latin diagnosis, accompanied with remarks in German on closely related species. He already indicated that the same species will be published later on in the “Abhandlungen” in more detail. The figure captions in the original description are referring to not published plates, which have been delayed (KNER, 1863:221) and were not included in the 1863 work. The species were described a second time one year later, together with the now finished but renumbered plates (KNER & STEINDACHNER, 1864).


Wagner, M. 1864. Über die hydrogaphischen Verhältnisse und das Vorkommen der Süßwasserfische in den Staaten Panama und Ecuador. Abhandlungen der königlich bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, II Classe 11 (I Abt.).

— . 1870. Reisen im tropischen Amerika. Cotta’sche Buchhandlung, Stuttgart.