“Salmo Hucho/Der Heuch/Le Heuch” (plate 100), copper engraving made by Gabriel Bodenehr after the drawing of Krüger jr, for Markus Elieser Bloch’s “Allgemeine Naturgeschichte der Fische” published in Berlin between 1782 and 1795. With original hand colouring. Size: 19 x 38 cm.
In the still pools of Bavaria and in quieter runs, swims a fish called Huchen. He prowls about below the lashers, seeking in the froth for unwary trout, or dace or insects; and indeed judging by the reports which were given of him, he might be considered capable of devouring anything under a good sized child…
Bloch’s labour on the “Allgemeine Naturgeschichte der Fische” occupied a considerable portion of his life, and is considered to have laid the foundations of the science of ichthyology. The publication was encouraged by a large subscription, and it passed rapidly through five editions in German and in French. Bloch made little or no alteration in the systematic arrangement of Peter Artedi and Carl Linnaeus, although he was disposed to introduce into the classification some modifications depending on the structure of the gills. To the number of genera before established, he found it necessary to add nineteen new ones, and he described 276 species new to science, many of them inhabitants of the remotest parts of the ocean, and by the brilliancy of their colours, or the singularity of their forms, as much objects of popular admiration as of scientific curiosity.
Bloch is considered the most important ichthyologist of the 18th century.