MSB Fish Collection (Arctos)

Latest version published by Museum of Southwestern Biology on Jun 28, 2024 Museum of Southwestern Biology

Download the latest version of this resource data as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) or the resource metadata as EML or RTF:

Data as a DwC-A file download 118,600 records in English (92 MB) - Update frequency: monthly
Metadata as an EML file download in English (12 KB)
Metadata as an RTF file download in English (7 KB)


The MSB Division of Fishes supports research of the ichthyofauna of a region in North America noted for a wide range of ecotypes and elevational gradients, from the Rocky Mountains to the Great Basin and the Great Plains, with the convergence of three major deserts, the Chihuahua, Sonora, and Mojave. The fishes of New Mexico (and the southwestern US) are characterized by high endemism, low diversity, and remarkable physiological tolerances. The MSB collections are particularly valuable because aquatic habitats in the region are declining as demands on water increase due to human population growth and global climate changes. The MSB collections of fishes provides a 80-year window on the natural history of New Mexico's imperiled native fishes and aquatic systems. The MSB has over 100,000 cataloged lots of fishes (ca. 4,153,582 specimens),representing 66 families, 200 genera, and 443 species. Approximately 1/3 of the collection consists of fish eggs and larvae as part of ongoing river monitoring programs and life history studies in desert fishes.

Data Records

The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 118,600 records.

1 extension data tables also exist. An extension record supplies extra information about a core record. The number of records in each extension data table is illustrated below.

Occurrence (core)

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Division of Fishes, Museum of Southwestern Biology (MSB)


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is Museum of Southwestern Biology. To the extent possible under law, the publisher has waived all rights to these data and has dedicated them to the Public Domain (CC0 1.0). Users may copy, modify, distribute and use the work, including for commercial purposes, without restriction.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: a2254f58-8bbf-41e6-ac4e-03d1683e0ce5.  Museum of Southwestern Biology publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by GBIF-US.


Occurrence; Specimen; Occurrence


Thomas Turner
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
Curator of Fishes
Museum of Southwestern Biology
University of New Mexico
87131-0001 Albuquerque
(505) 277-7541
Alexandra Snyder
  • Metadata Provider
  • Point Of Contact
Collection Manager
Museum of Southwestern Biology
University of New Mexico
87131-0001 Albuquerque
(505) 277-6005
David Bloom
  • Programmer
VertNet Coordinator
David Bloom
  • Programmer
Information Architect
Dusty McDonald
  • Point Of Contact
Arctos Database Programmer
University of Alaska Museum

Geographic Coverage

The MSB Division of Fishes collections are from the southwestern US, primarily the Chihuahua Desert of New Mexico, with good representation from the Rio Grande,and the Gila, Pecos, Canadian, San Juan, and Zuni Rivers.

Bounding Coordinates South West [-90, -180], North East [90, 180]

Taxonomic Coverage

The MSB Division of Fishes collections are predominately cypriniform fishes, collections of native and endemic minnows and suckers from the Rio Grande, Gila and Pecos Rivers; other well-represented groups fishes are the Cyprinodontidae, Ictaluridae, and Centrarchidae.

Class Osteichthyes

Temporal Coverage

Living Time Period 1900 to present

Additional Metadata

Alternative Identifiers a2254f58-8bbf-41e6-ac4e-03d1683e0ce5