Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version



Published in INVESTIGATIONS OF THE ICHTHYOFAUNA OF NICARAGUAN LAKES, ed. Thomas B. Thorson (University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1976). Copyright © 1976 School of Life Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Scientific study of Nicaraguan freshwater fishes did not begin until Gunther described the first species from Lake Nicaragua in 1864, but actual accounts of several interesting fishes were written as early as the sixteenth century by the first historians of the New World. These accounts ranged from hearsay to rather detailed (for their time) descriptions and first-hand observations on the form and life of some species. In some cases these observations or conclusions have been doubted for many decades but confirmed and elaborated in recent years. Therefore I believe it may be of interest to examine the early chronicles.