Different Types Of Carp

The carp family has multiple members and relations (Cyprinidae). We’re all acquainted with popular carp species like common and mirror carp, as well as closely related varieties, including leather carp, linear carp, and ghost carp, which are the most prevalent types of carp.

Grass carp, koi carp, crucian carp, and silver carp, on the other hand, are unrelated to common carp.

What are the Different Types of Carp?

Common Carp

Four barbels and a large expanded dorsal fin distinguish the common carp. Domestic carp grow to be far bigger and have deeper bodies than natural carp. The current world record for a common carp is 64 pounds, but I’m certain it will be broken in the future years.


These carps’ big jaws make them perfect for gulping down enormous boilies. Common carp scales are entirely covered in beautiful, repetitive patterns. They seem to be protected by body armor. (Read Largemouth Vs. Spotted Bass)

They don’t have the same distinct personality as other carp species, but they’re still popular among anglers. A common carp weighing 15 to 25 pounds is considered an average-sized fish in most nations. Fish under 10 pounds are small for a common carp.

Carp that weigh more than 25 pounds are called good-sized common carp, while those that weigh more than 30 pounds are termed enormous, specimen-sized carp. It is also thought to be a native fish species.

Mirror Carp

The mirror carp is the other major carp species in the Cyprinidae family with the common carp. The mirror carp is also a descendant of the common carp, domesticated and bred by European monks. To make it simpler for you as you prepare the fish in the kitchen, progressively lower the number of scales of the common carp in your ponds.

The typical size of a mirror carp is comparable to that of a common carp. On the other hand, mirrors are heavier than their typical counterparts because of their rounder body shape, which contains more flesh and fat. Consequently, mirrors are believed to weigh between 15 and 30 pounds on average. Around 50 pounds is the starting weight for a genuinely huge mirror carp.

Ghost Carp

A common (or mirror) carp and a koi carp, the ghost carp. Crossing Ogon koi with ordinary carp is a common practice. The ghost carp comes in various hues because these koi are usually pale, metallic, or gray.

Their lustrous scales come in various colors, including gold, silver, and white. PurFor example, achina koi is often used to produce white ghost carp, whereas a yambuki koi is typically used to produce yellow ghost carp.

The average size of a ghost carp is similar to that of a common or mirror carp, and it weighs between 10 and 20 pounds. They outgrow the much smaller koi carp because of their genetic similarities to common and mirror carp.

Grass carp

The grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon Idella) is a separate carp species that is only a distant cousin of the common carp but belongs to the Cyprinidae family. This carp may reach enormous proportions and have great strength reserves, usually displaying near the landing net. One of the grass carp’s most striking qualities is its sudden explosiveness.

It has a torpedo-shaped body and a scale pattern that mimics a common carp, yet it looks more like a giant chub than a carp. It also lacks the barbels that carps have around their mouths.

This carp weighs between 15 and 30 pounds on average. Fish measuring over 60 pounds are considered monster grass carp, while those weighing over 40 pounds are considered giant grass carp! (Read What Does Snapper Taste Like)

Crucian Carp

Many Asian carps are thought to be invasive. When introduced, they feed themselves on plankton, invertebrates, and trash, wreaking havoc on aquatic food webs.

To control the growth of some harmful aquatic plants, snails, and other pests, Asian carp species much like the grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon Idella), bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis), black carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus), and silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) were introduced to North America in the 1960s and 1970s.

koi carp

Koi Carp

The koi is a Japanese symbol of love and friendship commonly grown as ornamental fish in ponds in the United Kingdom. They feature barbules that are comparable to those seen on common and mirror carp, and they come in a variety of hues, including the iconic white, red, and black colors seen on koi mirror and common carp.

Koi carp are smaller than common carp and don’t reach the exact record sizes. Not in lakes, where pond koi carp weighing more than 90 pounds have been observed. The usual weight of a koi carp is between 10 and 20 pounds, with koi carp reaching more than 25 pounds considered massive specimens.

F1 Carp

In the United Kingdom, the F1 carp is a relatively new species, yet it is already widespread. The F1 carp is simply a cross between a common and crucian carp; it is smaller than a common or a mirror carp since it is a hybrid between the two species. This cross-breeding happens naturally in the wild. On the other hand, these fish are regularly bred for commercial fishing.

Despite their quick development, F1 carp do not reach the massive proportions of other carp kinds. They usually grow to be under 5 pounds, with a few outliers. The current world record F1 carp was taken at Manor Farm leisure in 2016 and weighed 7lbs 14ozs.

Linear Carp

Linear carp are similar to mirror carp but have a scale pattern. The linear carp scales make a very straight line across the fish’s back or flank—the scale line on the back of a linear carp. In addition, linear carp have a narrow line of scales running along the side or rear of their bodies.

A linear carp grows to be about the same size as a mirror carp, weighing between 12 and 25 pounds. Carp that weigh 30 pounds or more and are seldom captured are classified as big linear carp.

Leather Carp

The leather carp (also known as Cyprinus carpio nudus) differs genetically from both common and mirror carp and is the product of altered genome sequencing for food source reasons in a number of Asian nations, most notably in South Korea, where the leather carp is a popular food fish.

Their skin appears leathery due to the lack of scales, giving them the nickname “leather carp.” It’s also the carp’s most identifying feature, making it virtually impossible to mistake it with any other. It has a body shape that is very similar to a mirror carp. Its color, on the other hand, is generally darker or gray.

The typical weight of a leather carp is between 10 and 20 pounds. Carp that weigh more than 20 pounds are regarded as reasonably sizable, while those weighing more than 30 pounds are called huge.

Final Thoughts

You can see that distinguishing between various varieties of carp should not be difficult. After reading this article, each has its specific characteristics, which you should be aware of. But one thing is certain: catching any carp species may be a thrilling experience.

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