The fishes brought back to the ‘Muséum’ by Alcide dˈOrbigny: present statute and anecdotes

François J. MEUNIER, Philippe BÉAREZ, Patrice PRUVOST & Martine DESOUTTER

en Comptes Rendus Palevol 1 (7) - Pages 517-525

Published on 31 December 2002

Alcide dˈOrbignyˈs contributions in the field of ichthyology are very significant. Today, in the MNHN collection one finds specimens from dˈOrbigny: 92 species from South America and eight from the Canary Islands. The specimens of the New World are distributed about equally between marine and freshwater species. Almost all of these fishes were collected at two places: Montevideo/Buenos-Aires and Valparaiso. It should be noted that the freshwater species brought back by Alcide dˈOrbigny are primarily from the Paraguay Basin. The differences in number between the 166 species announced by Alcide dˈOrbigny and the 92 species currently indexed in the collection of the ‘Muséum national dˈhistoire naturelleˈ have several explanations. Some, regarded as different by dˈOrbigny and Valenciennes, are treated today as synonyms. Others listed herein do not have specimens in collection. In addition, certain descriptions are based only on drawings made by dˈOrbigny. Most of the reported specimens are currently preserved in alcohol. A dozen were dried and mounted and are still in an excellent state of conservation.


naturalist explorer, Alcide dˈOrbigny, Fishes, collection, South America

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