Koi Carp - Cyprinus spp
Photos ©2001–
Koi Carp - Cyprinus spp

Koi Carp - Cyprinus spp.
Family - Cyprinidae

Koi or Nishikigoi in Japanese, meaning "brocaded carp", are derived colour varieties of the Amur carp (Cyprinus rubrofuscus) which can be quite large and colourful, growing to 90cm in about ten years, living to about a hundred years old in favourable conditions.  Originating in Japan about AD 800 from two wild stock colour mutations (Grey and Red), and subsequently bred for further colour variations, there are some 30 types officially recognised in Japan based on their markings, colour and scale type.  Several further subtypes relate to other variations on colour and patterning in individual Koi.

New Koi varieties are actively being developed with Ghost Koi (distinguished by their metallic scales) having become very popular in the United Kingdom.  Superficially similar to Goldfish especially the red or gold colour variants, Koi have prominent barbels on the lip that are not seen on goldfish.  Goldfish tend to be much smaller than Koi, have a greater variety of body shapes,fin and tail configurations and usually only grow to about 35cm (14in) long.

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