NCSM Ichthyology Collection


The collection contains specimens from 65 countries, with an emphasis on the biodiversity of the marine and freshwaters of the southeastern United States. A majority of specimens in the collection are formalin-fixed and maintained in 70% ethanol, but we also have a growing tissue collection stored in 95% ethanol, and skeletal preparations. The collection has grown significantly over the years thanks to the acquisition of collections from the Charleston Museum, UNC Institute of Marine Sciences, Duke University, Stockton State University, among others. These specimens are available for research.

Quick Facts

  • Number of specimens: 1.3+ million
  • Number of lots: 111,700+
  • Number of tissues: 5,000+
  • Number of species: 3,000+

Search the Catalog

You can search our holdings here!

Our data is also available on FishNet2, VertNet, and GBIF under our acronym NCSM.

Requesting a Loan

To request a loan, contact Gabriela Hogue ( and/or Dr. Lily Hughes ( with the following information:

  • The catalog numbers of specimens you are requesting.
  • The number of specimens you are requesting per lot (if the lot contains multiple specimens).
  • A shipping address.
  • If you are a student or postdoc, the loan will be made out to your faculty advisor. Please include them on all emails regarding loans, as they are ultimately responsible for the specimens.
  • Requests that require destructive sampling or dissection must be approved by the curator.
  • Please Note: Loaned specimens may never be transferred between institutions without permission from the NCSM collections manager or curator.