A Virtual Museum on the State's Fish Biodiversity

Edits to Catalog Numbers

Catalog numbers in the database are taken verbatim from donors and correspond to unique museum lots which are typically a jar of specimens of a single species collected by a collector or group of collectors at a particular location and date. In some cases in which multiple species were found by Fishes of Texas staff to be incorrectly assigned to a single catalog number, they have been broken apart into multiple lots (one additional for each 'new' species) and assigned a sequential numerical catalog suffix enclosed in parentheses.

Institutional cataloging irregularities are important since they can distort statistical summaries of the Fishes of Texas Database if not interpreted properly. While most institutional fish collections catalog using a multiple specimens per lot system, with one catalog number assigned to all specimens of a single species in a collecting event (collection of specimens by a collector/s at a location and time), others catalog single specimens, with one catalog number assigned to each individual specimen. Furthermore, some institutions assign separate catalog numbers to specimens prepared differently. For example, if specimens from a single lot were divided and some prepared as dry skeletons while others were stored in alcohol, they might be assigned two different catalog numbers.