Common carp

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The Common carp (Cyprinus carpio) is a widespread freshwater fish of eutrophic waters in lakes and large rivers in Europe and Asia.[1][2] The wild populations are considered vulnerable to extinction, but the species has also been domesticated and introduced into environments worldwide, and is often considered an invasive species.[1] It gives its name to the carp family Cyprinidae.

Contents

Taxonomy

There are two or three subspecies:

  • Cyprinus carpio carpio (European carp). Eastern Europe (notably the Danube and Volga Rivers).[1][3]
  • Cyprinus carpio haematopterus (Amur carp). Eastern Asia.[3][4]
  • Cyprinus carpio rubrofuscus. Southeastern Asia.[3] Treated as a separate species Cyprinus rubrofuscus by many authorities.[5]

It is related to the common goldfish (Carassius auratus), with which it is capable of interbreeding.[6][7]

History

The common carp is a fish native to Europe which has been introduced to every part of the world with the exception of northern Asia and the poles. The original common carp was that found in the inland delta of the Danube river about 2000 years ago, and was torpedo-shaped and golden-yellow in colour. It had two pairs of barbels and a mesh-like scale pattern. Although this fish was initially kept as an exploited captive, it was later maintained in large, specially built ponds by the Romans in south-central Europe (verified by the discovery of common carp remains in excavated settlements in the Danube delta area). As aquaculture became a profitable branch of agriculture, efforts were made to farm the animals, and the culture systems soon included spawning and growing ponds.[8] The common carp's native range also extends to the Black Sea, Caspian Sea and Aral Sea.

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