- Side view adult.
- Side view adult.
- Side view adult.
- Top view adult.
- Bottom view adult.
- Head-on view adult.
- Close-up flank.
- Close-up head.
- Close-up mouth and snout.
- Close-up tail.
- Close-up dorsal fin.
- Close-up anal fin.
- Close-up pectoral fin.
- Close-up pelvic fin.
- There are 21-27 short gill rakers.
- The body is deep; there are 32-41 lateral line scales.
- Close-up of mouth: Notice the barbels; the mouth is subterminal.
- View of ventral area: There is no ventral keel present.
- Close-up of dorsal fin: There is one serrated spine and 15-23 dorsal rays.
- Close-up of anal fin: There is one serrated spine and 4-6 anal rays.
- Head of a breeding male: Note the small tubercles on the head.
- Close-up pectoral fin of a breeding male: Notice the tubercles on the fin rays.
- Close-up pelvic fin of a breeding male: Notice the tubercles on the fin rays.
- Back of a breeding male: Note the small tubercles on the back and a few on scales.
- Side view of a yearling: They are similar to adult, but with a relatively deeper, more angular (less rounded) body.
- Side view of a young-of-year: They are similar to adult, but with relatively deeper body and proportionally bigger eye.
- Side view of a "leather" carp.
- Side view of a "mirror" carp.
- John Lyons with a 20 lb carp.
- Close-up of dorsal spine.
Mouth and Snout: Subterminal with 2 obvious barbels on each side. No teeth. Shorter barbels at tip of snout and longer barbels at the corners of the mouth. Body Pattern: Variable, from solid dark brown to golden or olive brown on back and flanks grading to tan, cream or yellowish white. Fins pigmented similarly to body. Scales outlined in dark pigment especially anteriorly, giving the sides a cross-hatch or even spotted appearance. The body is fully scaled with relatively large scales. A natural genetic mutation causes some carp to develop without scales (leather carp) or with only a few scales (mirror carp). Body Shape: Slightly laterally compressed, somewhat ventrally flattened. Typical adult size is 400-700 mm TL (1.3-2.3 ft), with a maximum of about 1200 mm (4 ft).
Elongated dorsal fin with 15-23 rays. The first ray is a serrated spinous ray. The anal fin has 4-6 rays, and the first is also a serrated spinous ray. Forked tail. Pelvic fins abdominal. No adipose fin.
Carp have large scales, a long dorsal fin with a serrated spine, and 15-23 soft rays. Anal fin with a serrated spine, and 4-6 soft rays. A subterminal mouth with a pair of obvious barbels on each side. Deep, somewhat laterally compressed body, no ventral keel. 32-41 lateral line scales and gill rakers 21-27. Obvious barbels. See also similar species information.
Small tubercles sometimes on head region and pectoral fins of males; head and tail dark.
Juveniles have a deeper, chunkier body and their eyes are proportionally larger.
Goldfish X Common Carp
|Buffalo, Bigmouth||Deep, laterally compressed|
|Buffalo, Black||Deep, laterally compressed|
|Buffalo, Smallmouth||Deep, laterally compressed|
|Carp, Common||Deep, laterally compressed|
|Carpsucker, Highfin||Deep, laterally compressed|
|Carpsucker, River||Deep, laterally compressed|
|Goldfish||Deep, laterally compressed|
|Quillback||Deep, laterally compressed|
|Carp, Bighead||From anal fin to pelvic fins|
|Carp, Silver||From anal fin to isthmus|
|Buffalo, Bigmouth||Terminal, subterminal or inferior|
|Buffalo, Black||Terminal, subterminal or inferior|
|Buffalo, Smallmouth||Terminal, subterminal or inferior|
|Carpsucker, Highfin||Terminal, subterminal or inferior|
|Carpsucker, River||Terminal, subterminal or inferior|
|Quillback||Terminal, subterminal or inferior|
|Buffalo, Bigmouth||22-32 rays; first few rays elongated|
|Buffalo, Black||22-32 rays; first few rays elongated|
|Buffalo, Smallmouth||22-32 rays; first few rays elongated|
|Carp, Bighead||1 spine in adults, 8 rays|
|Carp, Common||1 serrated spine, 15-23 rays|
|Carp, Grass||7-9 rays|
|Carp, Silver||1 spine in adults, 8 rays|
|Carpsucker, Highfin||22-32 rays; first few rays elongated|
|Carpsucker, River||22-32 rays; first few rays elongated|
|Goldfish||1 serrated spine, 15-19 rays|
|Quillback||22-32 rays; first few rays elongated|
|Buffalo, Bigmouth||7-10 rays|
|Buffalo, Black||7-10 rays|
|Buffalo, Smallmouth||7-10 rays|
|Carp, Bighead||1 spine in adults, 13-14 rays|
|Carp, Common||1 serrated spine, 4-6 rays|
|Carp, Grass||8-10 rays|
|Carp, Silver||1 spine in adults, 12-13 rays|
|Carpsucker, Highfin||7-10 rays|
|Carpsucker, River||7-10 rays|
|Goldfish||1 serrated spine, 5-6 rays|
Lateral Line Scales
|Carp, Bighead||53-80; long and fine|
|Carp, Silver||Fused into sponge-like matrix|
|Buffalo, Bigmouth||Moderately similar|
|Buffalo, Black||Moderately similar|
|Buffalo, Smallmouth||Moderately similar|
|Carp, Bighead||Moderately similar|
|Carp, Grass||Moderately similar|
|Carp, Silver||Moderately similar|
|Carpsucker, Highfin||Moderately similar|
|Carpsucker, River||Moderately similar|
|Carp, Bighead||Not yet confirmed from WI waters (two anecdotal records), but well-established further south in the Mississippi River and likely to be encountered in WI in the future.|
|Carp, Grass||Not established in WI; present only as a stray from further south or from illegal introductions|
|Carp, Silver||Not yet confirmed from WI waters, but well-established further south in the Mississippi River and likely to be encountered in WI in the future.|