Preserving fish specimen

A good all-around fixing solution and preservative. Too much buffer may be detrimental. It has been reported that thalli may become brittle and disintegtrate with the excessive addition of buffer. Fix for 24 - 48 hours for thick, cartilaginous algae.

Preserving fish specimen

Permits Before any collecting can be done, the collector or collecting party must obtain the proper permits from the appropriate local, state or federal agencies. Fixation and Preservation Frozen fishes may be brought to the Ichthyology Collection but formalin fixation is highly recommended for all routine collections specimens destined for certain specialized studies such as histological work may be fixed in various other ways.

Specimens should first be killed by means of a chemical anesthetic such as MS, or a similarly acting substance. If this tissue sample is not taken before fixing the specimen in formalin, no genetic information will be available from the specimen.

Take care to label the tissue sample so that it is clear which specimen it comes from. Specimens should then be placed in a solution Preserving fish specimen formalin made up of one part commercial formaldehyde and nine parts water. This solution is of sufficient strength to fix small fishes up to 15 cm in length in about three days, but larger specimens should remain in the solution for a greater length of time depending on their size.

Specimens over 10 cm in length should be slit in the belly with a sharp knife or scissors, or they should be injected with a syringe or hypodermic with formalin.


This allows the fixative to enter the body cavity and keep the contents from spoiling. In addition, the body musculature of large fishes i. Remember to be careful when using formalin—it's nasty stuff.

Also remember not to pour formalin down the drain. It must at all times be disposed of according to rather strict state guidelines. Labels and Labeling Labels, giving all essential data, should be placed in the jar with the fishes when collected.

Accurate information about the locality is as valuable as the specimens themselves; specimens without proper data are of little scientific value. Labels should have at least the following information: Labels should be written with a soft lead pencil or permanent black ink e.

Do not use ordinary paper because it will disintegrate in the liquid. Do not use a ball-point pen—the ink in most cases washes off in a matter of days. Large fishes may be tagged, preferably through the lower jaw, with all essential data written on the tag, or a number may be used and the data recorded under the identical number in a notebook.

Always keep a field notebook in which you record all the information about each collection made.Directions for Collecting and Preserving Fish (Washington, DC ) The following instructions by Tarleton H.

Bean, the first Curator of Fishes at the Smithsonian, were printed in Volume 4 of the Proceedings of United States National Museum for (Washington: Government Printing Office, ), pages Methods of Preserving Fishes This information is provided for people interested in having a fish specimen identified by the Burke Museum Ichthyology Collection or in donating a fish specimen to the collection.

PRESERVING FISH SPECIMENS Specimens from any field collection should be deposited in a reference collection in an institutional for the long-term maintenance and access for the future.

Preserving fish specimen

Preserving Specimens. By Mary Bigelow If the specimen I am interested in preserving is just a bone, does preserving it in alcohol work in that case as well? Angela. Posted April 24, at pm | Permalink. Can I preserve in a plastic bottle, so I can safely pass the specimen amongst student hands?

Methods How To Preserve Fish Specimens for Long-Term Storage or Shipment. Preserved fish specimens are central to documenting and describing global biodiversity through time.

Worldwide, museum and university collections provide irreplaceable resources and have an enduring role in taxonomic, ecological, biogeographical, and evolutionary studies.

Preserving Specimens