The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Carassius langsdorfii
Carassius langsdorfii

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Carassius langsdorfii Temminck & Schlegel, 1846

Common name: Ginbuna

Synonyms and Other Names: Carassius langsdorfi, Carassius auratus langsdorfii; Japanese Silver Crucian Carp; Silver Crucian Carp

Identification: A small, deep and thick-bodied fish with a large caudal fin. Mouth is terminal, and scales on lateral line are large (Page and Burr 1991).

Morphological identification can be difficult because Carassius langsdorfii can change its body shape and hybridizes with other Carassius species easily (Murakami et al. 2001). In addition, morphological differences between species of Carassius are small, especially between C. langsdorfii and C. auratus (Hosoya 2002).

Carassius auratus (goldfish) vs. C. langsdorfii (Ginbuna Crucian Carp) from Kalous et al. (2007).

Morphological data Goldfish Ginbuna Crucian Carp
Anal fin rays 5-6 5
Scales in lateral line 21-36 28-31
Number of gill rakers 37-47 41-57


Size: 390 mm total length for male/unsexed (IGFA 2001).

Native Range:  Native to Japan (Halas et al. 2018).

Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) Explained
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences: Carassius langsdorfii is widely distributed in central Asia and Europe (Brönmark and Pettersson 1994), although there is some controversy about European establishment (Kirankaya and Ekmekci 2013). The first US occurrence was discovered in Lake Tahoe, California in 2018 (Halas et al. 2018).

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Carassius langsdorfii are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
CA201820181Lake Tahoe

Table last updated 9/30/2022

† Populations may not be currently present.

Ecology: Carassius langsdorfii live in rivers and lakes in Japan (Murakami et al. 2001). This species has three known types of naturally occurring populations that have two, three, or four sets of chromosomes, but the four chromosome individuals are rare (Science of Ginbuna 2018). Carassius langsdorfii can reproduce in two different ways: typical sexual reproduction by the diploid individuals (two chromosome) like the majority of fishes and gynogenesis practiced by the triploid individuals (three chromosomes) and in rarer cases, tetraploid individuals (four chromosomes) (Ohara et al. 2003; Murakami et al. 2001). During gynogenesis, the egg is a clone of the mother, and the sperm is only used to stimulate the start of development. All offspring of the triploid mothers will be female triploids. The stimulus is usually sperm of male Carassius langsdorfii (diploid), but other species could also be used (for a breakdown of the process of meiosis in a triploid Ginbuna Crucian Carp see: Science of Ginbuna 2018).

Means of Introduction: Accidentally introduced together with imports of commercial fishes (e.g., Koi Carps and Goldfish) (FishBase 2018).

Status: Unknown in Lake Tahoe

Impact of Introduction: Introductions of Carassius species have been reportedly shown to be a threat to native fish communities (Crivelli 1995; Frazer & Adams 1998).

Remarks: It is thought that C. langsdorfii is diphyletic, meaning it originates from the hybridization of two species, the identities of which are not currently known (Ohara et al. 2003; Murakami et al. 2001).

Asian Carassius have often been treated as subspecies of C. auratus, but taxonomy data from Kalous et al. (2007) suggest that the four recognized fishes are distinct species: C. auratus, C. cuvieri, C. gibelio and C. langsdorfii.

Murakami et al. (2001) state that it is difficult to distinguish the species from other closely related species and subspecies due to the animal’s ability to change its shape based on environmental stressors and cross with subspecies types. Other closely related species in the Carassius genera are highly susceptible to predation and have been shown to change body morphology in the presence of piscivores to help avoid predation (Brönmark and Pettersson 1994).

This species’ tendency to consist of triploid individuals and breed clonally makes it a favorable subject for scientific studies, as using genetic clones eliminates the need to account for possible genetic differences between specimens (Umino et al. 1997).

References: (click for full references)

Brönmark, C., and L.B.Pettersson. 1994. Chemical Cues from Piscivores Induce a Change in Morphology in Crucian Carp. Oikos 70(3):396-402. https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/3545777.pdf.

Crivelli, A. J. 1995. Are fish introductions a threat to endemic freshwater fishes in the
northern Mediterranean region? Biological Conservation 72:311-319. http://www.reabic.net/publ/Crivelli_1995.pdf.

Halas, D., N. Lovejoy and N. E. Mandrak. 2018. Undetected diversity of goldfish (Carassius spp.) in North America . Aquatic Invasions 13(2):211-219.

Hosoya, K. 2002. Cyprinidae. In Fishes of Japan with Pictorial Keys to the Species, English edition II (Nakabo, T., ed.), pp. 253–254. Tokyo: Tokai University Press.

IGFA, 2001. Database of IGFA angling records until 2001. IGFA, Fort Lauderdale, USA.

Kalous, L., V. S. Lechtova Jr., J. Bohlen, M. Petrty, and M. S. Va´ Torak. 2007. First European record of Carassius langsdorfii from the Elbe basin. Journal of Fish Biology 70:132-138. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/j.1095-8649.2006.01290.x. 

Kirankaya, S.G., and F.G. Ekmekci. 2013. Life-history traits of the invasive population of Prussian Carp, Carassius gibelio (Actinopterigi: Cypriniformes), from Gelingullu Recervoir, Yozgat, Turkey. acta ichthyoLogica et piscatoria 43(1):31-49.  

Murakami, M., C. Matsuba, and H. Fujitani. 2001. The maternal origins of the triploid ginbuna (Carassius auratus langsdorfi): phylogenetic relationships within the C. auratus taxa by partial mitochondrial D-loop sequencing. Genes & genetic systems 76(1):25-35. 

Ohara, K., T. Ariyoshi, E. Sumida, and N. Taniguchi. 2003. lonal diversity in the Japanese silver crucian carp, Carassius langsdorfii inferred from genetic markers. Zoological science 206(6):797-804. 

Page, L.M., and B.M. Burr. 1991. A field guide to freshwater fishes of North America north of Mexico. Volume 42. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA.

Science of Ginbuna. 2018. http://icbp90pink1.heteml.jp/Science/Ginbuna.html Accessed on 06/19/2018.

Umino, T., K. Arai, and H. Nakagawa. 1997. Growth performance in clonal crucian carp, Carassius langsdorfii. Effects of genetic difference and feeding history. Aquaculture 155:271-283. 

Other Resources:

Author: Daniel, W.M. and C. Morningstar

Revision Date: 9/25/2019

Citation Information:
Daniel, W.M. and C. Morningstar, 2022, Carassius langsdorfii Temminck & Schlegel, 1846: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=3238, Revision Date: 9/25/2019, Access Date: 10/1/2022

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


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Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2022]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [10/1/2022].

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