Teleostei (teleosts) > Cypriniformes
(Carps) > Cyprinidae
(Minnows or carps) > Cyprininae
Etymology: Carassius: Latinization of , karass, karausche, European crucian carp (Ref. 45335); auratus: From the words carassius--Latin of karass (common name for these fishes in Eurasia) and auratus, meaning gilded (Ref. 10294).
More on author: Linnaeus.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Freshwater; brackish; benthopelagic; pH range: 6.0 - 8.0; dH range: 5 - 19; potamodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 20 m (Ref. 6898). Subtropical; 0°C - 41°C (Ref. 35682); 53°N - 22°N
Asia: central Asia and China (Ref. 7050) and Japan (Ref. 6390). Introduced throughout the world. Asian form of the goldfish (Ref. 1739). Several countries report adverse ecological impact after introduction.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 48.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 27549); common length : 10.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9987); max. reported age: 41 years (Ref. 72468)
(total): 3 - 4;
soft rays: 4 - 7;
Vertebrae: 30. Body stout, thick-set, caudal peduncle thick and short (Ref. 1998). Head without scales (Ref. 39167, 1998), broadly triangular (Ref. 1998), interorbital space broad, snout longer than eye diameter, maxillary reaching posterior nostril or not quite to eye (Ref. 39166), barbels lacking on upper jaw (Ref. 39104, 1998). Lateral line complete. Dorsal and anal fins with serrate bony spines, pelvic fins short, broad and thoracic. Nuptial tubercles of male fine, on opercle, sometimes on back and a few on pectoral fins. Hybridize readily with carp, hybrids intermediate in most characteristics (Ref. 1998). Caudal fin with 17-19 rays (Ref. 2196). Last simple anal ray osseous and serrated posteriorly; no barbels (Ref. 43281). Pigmentation: Wild-caught specimens, olive brown (Ref. 39168, 39104), slate olive, olive green, with a bronze sheen (Ref. 39104), silvery, grayish yellowish, gray-silver (Ref. 39169), through gold (often with black blotches) to creamy white (Ref. 1998); yellowish white or white below. Cultured forms vary through scarlet, red-pink, silver, brown, white, black and combinations of these colors (Ref. 39104).
Inhabit rivers, lakes, ponds and ditches (Ref. 5258, 10294) with stagnant or slow-flowing water (Ref. 30578). Occur in eutrophic waters, well vegetated ponds and canals (Ref. 59043). Live better in cold water. Feed mainly on plankton, benthic invertebrates, plant material and detritus (Ref. 59043). Goldfish lay eggs on submerged vegetation. Females spawn multiple times during the spawning period (Ref. 88808). Oviparous, with pelagic larvae. They last long in captivity (Ref. 7248). Maximum recorded salinity is 17 ppt (Ref. 39171), but unable to withstand prolonged exposure above 15 ppt (Ref. 39172, 39174). Used as an experimental species (Ref. 4537). Valued as ornamental fish for ponds and aquaria; edible but rarely eaten (Ref. 9987). Aquarium keeping: in groups of 5 or more individuals; minimum aquarium size 100 cm (Ref. 51539). Reported individual hooked by an angler in a lake in Poole, Dorset measured 40 cm (16 in), weighing 2.3 kg (Practical Fishkeeping, 2010).
Cold water temperatures during the winter months are necessary for proper ova development (Ref. 44091). Spawning takes place in shallow water among weeds, often where willow roots grow exposed in water (Ref. 39171), also meadows inundated by spring flood (Ref. 39176). Spawning activity begin just before dawn (Ref. 39168), to midafternoon (Ref. 39177). Individual fish spawn 3-10 lots of eggs at intervals of 8-10 days (Ref. 39180). Juveniles need high temperature to grow. Eggs are sticky, attached to water plants or submerged objects (Ref. 59043). Females spawn multiple times during the spawning period (Ref. 88808).
Kottelat, M., A.J. Whitten, S.N. Kartikasari and S. Wirjoatmodjo, 1993. Freshwater fishes of Western Indonesia and Sulawesi. Periplus Editions, Hong Kong. 221 p. (Ref. 7050)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 126983)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: highly commercial; bait: occasionally