Sunday, August 2, 2009

Silver Carp & Grass Carp

The Silver Carp has its eyes in an unusually low position on the head. Its belly from its throat to the anal opening has a sharp, scaleless keel. Its eggs are pelagic and are carried by the current. The adult fish feed almost exclusively on plant plankton and grow very quickly.

It inhabits the vast area of eastern Asia stretching from the River Amur in the USSR as far as the rivers of the Canton province in southern China. In China this fish has been bred in ponds for a long time. In recent years it has been acclimatized even in Europe, where it sometimes escapes from ponds to open waters, such as the Danube.

The Grass Carp has a long, scaly body, which is slightly flattened at the sides. Its head is very wide and the mouth is in a semi-inferior position. In colouring it resembles the carp, but its sides are somewhat lighter and have a golden sheen. All its fins arc dark grey and there are conspicuous ridges on its gill covers. This species often grows to more than 1 m in length and weighs up to 32 kg. It spawns in spring and its eggs are pelagic. It feeds predominantly on vegetation. In ponds it is given a supplementary diet of clover and lucerne.

Originally it came from the middle and lower reaches of the River Amur and its tributaries. In China it is bred in ponds to the south of Canton, and several decades ago it was also acclimatized for the first time in the European part of the USSR and in some other European countries. Experimentally, it has been introduced to England and the United States; in both it has been released to help control growths of aquatic plants.

Hypophthalmichthys molitrix

Maximum size and weight:

1 m, 10 kg.

Identifying characteristics: Belly forms sharp, scaleless keel, extending from throat to anus. Eyes located very low on head, mouth tilts upwards. Protrusion in lower jaw slots into hollow in upper jaw.

Ctenopharyngodon idella

Maximum size and weight:130 cm, 32 kg.

Identifying characteristics: Large terminal mouth and elongated, cylindrical body. Gills have conspicuous radial dents.

Learn more on carp breeding

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