Research and Data Management
|Preserved fish and crayfish
||Illustrations for "Fishes of Indiana" created by Joseph
Tomellari (Amia calva pictured)
Research and Projects
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- Records of fish, macroinvertebrates, and crayfish are maintained at the Center through the two
respective Divisions. These records are maintained in Access with linkage through
Geographic Information Systems (ARCVIEW), relational databases that will provide supporting
information to the ORACLE database model at Notre Dame University. The database project
supports information requests on all specimens maintained at the Center. Information and
records are available to researchers and other professionals based on specified written
requests at a nominal charge.
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- Established in 2004, The Aquatic Research Center fish collection contains over 14 million
specimens that include close to 14 million larval fish in over 59,000 lots. The collection scope
is primarily the Midwestern United States with additional material from the southeast United States.
The Division of Fishes and Division of Crustaceans serve the research needs of scientists and
students of Indiana, both through their visits to the division and through outgoing loans.
Interest in the holdings of the fish and crayfish collection is because of its historically
important specimens and types, and also the active incorporation of new material into the
collection. David Starr Jordan and students pioneered the study of the freshwater fishes in North America. Much of the current growth of the fish collection was derived from the active field and collection programs of the curatorial staff. Indiana Biological Survey staff collected large collections of freshwater fishes and crayfishes from Indiana, and the Great Lakes region, and R. Wallus obtained significant collections of early life history developmental series for species from Eastern North America.
The Division of Fishes collection at The Aquatic Research Center is a recognized systematic resource and will become one of the most important fish collections in the Midwest.
- Systematic Coverage - More than 250 species are estimated to be represented in the collection (including the backlog of uncatalogued fishes and crayfishes). Using the estimates provided by Nelson (1984), the ichthyology collection of The Aquatic Research Center has representatives of 90% of the estimated living species of fishes found in the Midwestern United States and 80% of the crayfishes. This systematic breadth enables ecological and environmental research within the collection from the full range of freshwater habitats, including the blue water of the Great Lakes to the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, to shallow headwater streams.
- Geographic Coverage - The collection contains specimens from all states east of the Mississippi River. The collection is almost entirely freshwater with some and marine holdings from Florida and Hawaii. Collections of premier importance include those from: Indiana, coastal wetlands of the Great Lakes, Northern Lakes and Forest Ecoregion, Eastern Corn Belt Plain Ecoregion, the State of Minnewsota, and Southeast Alabama. There are also important, diverse holdings of fishes from Tennessee, Kentucky, and the Ohio River.
- Type Specimens - The collection possesses paratypes of
crayfish and a single fish species.
- Historically Significant Materials - In addition to the type
collection, The Aquatic Research Center maintains other material of historic value to scientists in Indiana. These collections include pre-1930 materials from areas that are now undergoing significant environmental changes. Much of this material is documented in the now classic works of Jordan, Eigenmann, Hay, and Shoemaker, among others. Other material of historic importance include State of Indiana Department of Environmental Management voucher collections, Department of Natural Resources smallmouth bass study, and collections from Earlham College, Wabash College, the Indiana State Museum, and Muncie Bureau of Water Quality.
- Special Collections - Among the most important attributes of the fish collection includes the freshwater fishes from Indiana, and the early life history reference collection from Tennessee Valley Authority that are unique or unusual among United States holdings. The Aquatic Research Center collection also contains holdings of several large fishes such as greater redhorse. The Division of Crustaceans possesses about 75,000 specimens from mostly Indiana, the Great Lakes, TEnnessee Valley, and southeastern Coastal Plain of Alabama.
Research and Projects
Systematics, Taxonomy, and Comprehensive Surveys of Fishes and Crayfishes:
The Center collections are among the most important in the State of Indiana and include
two divisions, the Division of Fishes
and Division of Crustaceans.
These two collections are the largest collections of crayfishes and fishes in the State of
Indiana. The collections include specimens from the Indiana State Museum (INSM), Earlham
College, Wabash College, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, the Indiana
Department of Natural Resources, the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO),
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service,
U.S. Geological Survey, and U.S. Tennessee Valley Authority.
The Center conducts surveys of Indiana lakes and streams for the purpose of identifying
the distribution of all species occurring in Indiana. These surveys are conducted for
various purposes including the study of watersheds, distribution and species relationships,
understanding patterns in rare and endangered species, and for the description of new
species within the State. Studies are conducted on a rotating basis such that complete
inventories of the State are accomplished within a ten-year rotating watershed cycle.
These surveys are the supporting basis for publications and study of new fish and crayfish
species in the State.
Indiana Biological Survey
Policy and Procedures
Fish Data Input Forms
Fish Database Dictionary
Fish Database template
Crayfish Data Input Forms
Crayfish Collection Jar Label
Crayfish Database Dictionary
Crayfish Database template
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