Francisco Mago Leccia
Francisco Mago Leccia (“Mago”) was born in Tumeremo, Bolívar State, Venezuela on May 21, 1931 and died in Puerto La Cruz, Anzoátegui State, Venezuela on February 27, 2004. Mago was a distinguished Venezuelan ichthyologist who specialized in electric fish of the rivers and lagoons of South America, particularly of Venezuela. His education was Docent in Biology and Chemistry graduate from the “Instituto Pedagógico de Caracas”, (today Universidad Pedagógica Experimental El Libertador), Master of Sciences (Marine Biology) from the University of Miami, Florida, U.S.A., Doctor in Sciences from Universidad Central de Venezuela. His Doctoral Thesis was entitled: “Los peces Gymnotiformes de Venezuela: un estudio preliminar para la revisión del grupo en la América del Sur” (The Gymnotiformes fish of Venezuela: a preliminary study for the revision of the group in South America).
Francisco Mago was a founding member of the Instituto Oceanográfico de la Universidad de Oriente in Cumaná Sucre state Venezuela and a founding member of the Instituto de Zoologia Tropical (IZT) de la Universidad Central de Venezuela situated in Caracas Venezuela. He was a teacher of the chair of Animal Biology, Vertebrate Biology and Systematic Ichthyology at the Biology School of Sciences Faculty of the Universidad Central de Venezuela. He was director of the Museo de Biología de la Universidad Central de Venezuela (MBUCV) and Acuario Agustín Codazzi. He was editor of the Acta Biologica Venezuelica (ABV). In 1968 he founded the Mago Collection of MBUCV considered the largest ichthyological collection in Latin America. It is a mandatory study resource on tropical fish for experts who wish to know more about this area. Currently the Mago Collection has a heritage of 33,000 fishes thousand preserved in alcohol and skeletons.