Carp - Cyprinus carpio
Family - Cyprinidae
Also known as - Mirror or Leather carp

Common Carp - Cyprinus carpio, click for a larger image
Photo ©2000 Marcel Karssies,
Click photo for a larger image

Carp are a large fish group originating from Central Europe and Asia where they were domesticated and used as food fish.  Their ability to adapt to many climates and conditions allowed them to be imported to many countries, arriving in the UK around the 1300's from China and Japan they have long since become naturalised, they can reach over 1m (3ft) in length and weigh 20Kg (44lb) in ideal conditions.  A heavy broad sided fish, dark with lighter fins, they were originally an olive green colour.  Current descriptions have them as green–brown backs, bronze yellow sides and a yellowish underside.  They can be difficult to spot as their colouration makes them hard to see in the water.

Spawning in May to June, the female can lay up to one million eggs and is usually accompanied by more than one male during the spawning season.  The fry hatch in about six days and are adult in three to four years.  They over winter in deeper, muddy bottom of ponds and rivers entering a state of hibernation.  A bottom feeder, carp live on aquatic plants, invertebrates, crustaceans, worms and small animals and can have a life span of over 50 years.  They are also known as mirror or leather carp.

FBCP do not advise or recommend that Carp – Cyprinus carpio are eaten or used as an herbal remedy.    Carp were commonly kept by religious groups in "carp ponds" to be eaten on a Friday as the consumption of meat was not allowed.

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