//I added the following metatags
Posted (crates) in biology, nature on February-13-2012

      I keep getting these different types of fish confused.  I was checking out their differences and characteristics and thought that I would summarize what I found here.

Goldfish:  Apparently goldfish were bred in China over a thousand years ago for their colors  from the Prussian Carp (Carassius gibelio gibelio once  

called  Carassius auratus gibelio) originally an Asian species, but now also spread throughout Europe. (Photos from Wikipedia)

Koi (which means carp in Japanese): These colorful fish have been bred from the common carp  (Cyprinus carpio). Photo from Wikipedia

 The common carp was raised as food in Rome as long ago as 2,000 yrs ago and was cultured in China at least by the fifth century.  Apparently mitochondrial DNA studies have shown that the Koi has been bred from both the western eurasian subspecies of the common carp (Cyprinus carpio carpio) and the east asian subspecies (Cyprinus carpio haematopterus).  This multilineage background is still confused. The common carp is widespread throughout Eurasia and the United States.

Other Common Asian Carp Introduced into the United States:

  • grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella)
  • silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix)
  • bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis)
  • black carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus)

Grass, silver, bighead and black carp are  sometimes known as the “Four Domesticated Fish” in China and are the most important freshwater fish species for food and traditional Chinese medicine. Bighead and silver carp are the most important fish, worldwide, in terms of total aquaculture production.

Silver carp or Jumping Carp (they have no stomachs and filter feed almost constantly) are the fish that I have often seen on television jumping high out of the water when frightened by motor boats.  These fish can jump 8 to 10 feet into the air and often cause injuries to boaters. When you consider that Silver carp can grow up to 100 pounds, you can see how dangerous they can be to boaters.  Bighead  carp normally don’t jump when frightened.photo from Wikipedia

Bighead, silver, and grass carp are known to be well-established in the Mississippi River basin (including tributaries) of the United States, where they at times reach extremely high abundances, especially in the case of the bighead and silver carp.

Bighead and silver carp feed by filtering plankton from the water which because of their abundance has led to concern because of possible competition with native species (filter feeders such as the paddlefish, shad, etc.). Of course because of the fact that these fish are filter feeders, they are difficult to catch by normal means.

Silver Carp’s head does not have scales and the body is covered in very small scales.  The eyes are turned forward and appear to be looking down a little.  The mouth is turned up.  The body is somewhat flattened from side to side and usually has olive-green backs and silvery sides sometimes with a bronze to reddish tinge.

Big Headed Carp: Photo from Wikipedia Commons

File:Bighead carp b.gif

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

You must be logged in to post a comment.