The fish collection in the Raffles Museum had received considerable attention from many ichthyologists in the likes of L F de Beaufort, A W C T Herre, George Myers, Sunda Lal Hora, A G K Menon, H W Fowler, Martin Brittan and A Fraser-Brunner since the 1930s. At the beginning, specimens were largely bought in the market or donated by the fisheries departments in Singapore and Malaya. Former directors like M W F Tweedie and Eric Alfred were instrumental in setting up the fish collection. They made various forays into Malaysia specially to obtain small fishes. In the 1960s Alfred also made a large collection of fishes in the streams of Singapore. Many of these habitats are now either reclaimed or concretised. A large fish collection from the Andaman and South China Seas has been transferred from the South-east Asian Fisheries Development Centre (SEAFDEC). The fish collections of D S Johnson, C F Lim, A K Tham, C C Lindsey, T E Chua and Samuel Tay at the University of Singapore were absorbed into the LKCNHM in the 1970s.


In the past decade, field collections to many parts of Southeast Asia by staff from the LKCNHM and the systematics laboratory of P. K. L. Ng and his colleagues have increased the LKCNHM's holdings of fish specimens substantially. Active fish systematists like Maurice Kottelat, Tyson Roberts, Helen Larson, Lynne Parenti, Mohd. Zakaria-Ismail and Chavalit Vidthayanon have consulted our fish collection many times. They have also contributed many specimens (including types) either through exchange or donations. The centre now has a respectable collection of Malaysian and Indonesian freshwater fishes. At the last count in 1996, there were about 65,300 specimens of 1,740 species of fish in the LKCNHM.


Selected publications:

• Alfred, E. R., 1966. The fresh-water fishes of Singapore. Zoologische Verhandelingen, 78: 1-68.

• Brittan, M. R., 1954. The cyprinid fish genus Rasbora in Malaya. Bulletin of the Raffles Museum, 25: 129-156.

• Fowler, H. W., 1938. A list of fishes known from Malaya. Fisheries Bulletin, No. 1.

• Herre, A. W. C. T. & G. S. Myers, 1937. A contribution to the ichthyology of the Malay Peninsula. Bulletin of the Raffles Museum, 13: 5-75.

• Tweedie, M. W. F., 1936. A list of the fishes in the collection of the Raffles Museum. Bulletin of the Raffles Museum, 12: 16-28.

• Tan, S. M., P. Y. Lim, T. Senta & K. K. Hooi, 1982. A Colour Guide to the Fishes of the South China Sea and the Andaman Sea. Primary Production Department/Marine Fisheries Research Department, SEAFDEC, 45 pp.