Identification: Distinguishing characteristics were provided by Berg (1964), Muus and Dahlstrom (1978), Wheeler (1978), Raicu et al. (1981), Howells (1992b) and Wheeler (2000).
Dorsal rays iii-iv (14-21); Anal rays ii-iii (5-8); Pharyngeal teeth in one row (0,4-4,0); Gill rakers 22-33; lateral line scales 28-37. Dorsal and anal fins have a serrated, spinelike ray. Typically, individuals are deep-bodied and laterally compressed; however, a slender "shallow-body" variety also exists. The body is golden copper, darker dorsally with reddish fins. Barbels are not present around the mouth.
Crucian carp are distinguished from goldfish (Carassius auratus) as follows:
| Character || Crucian Carp || Goldfish |
| Dorsal fin margin || slightly convex || straight or slightly convex |
| Caudal fin || slightly emarginate || deeply emarginate |
Denticles on posterior
margin of dorsal fin
| 28-29 || 10-11 |
References: (click for full references)
Berg, L. S. 1964. Freshwater Fishes in the U.S.S.R. and Neighbouring Countries. Vol. 2., Fourth edition. Translated from Russian by Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem, IPST Catalog No. 742. 496 pp.
Cole, L. J. 1905. The German carp in the United States. Pages 523-641 in Report of the Bureau of Fisheries for 1904. U.S. Department of Commerce and Labor. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.
Eddy, S., and J. C. Underhill. 1974. Northern fishes, with special reference to the Upper Mississippi Valley, 3rd edition. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN.
Fuller, P. L., L. G. Nico, J. D. Williams. 1999. Nonindigenous Fishes Introduced Into Inland Waters of the United States. Special Publication 27, American Fisheries Society. Bethesda, Maryland. 613 pp.
Holopainen, I. J., and H. Hyvärinen. 1984. Ecology and physiology of Crucian carp (Carassius carassius L.) in small Finnish ponds with anoxic conditions in winter. Verhandlungen. Internationale Vereiningung fur theoretische und angewandte Limnology Vol. 22, No. 4, pp. 2566-2570.
Howells, R. G. 1992b. Guide to identification of harmful and potentially harmful fishes, shellfishes and aquatic plants prohibited in Texas. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Special Publication, Austin, TX. 182 pp. (+ appendices).
Lever, C., 1996, Naturalized fishes of the world: Academic Press, 408 p.
Muus, B. J., and P. Dahlstrom. 1978. Collins guide to the freshwater fishes of Britain and Europe. Collins, London, England. 222 pp.
Meek, S.E., and Hildebrand, S.F. 1910. A synoptic list of the fishes known to occur within fifty miles of Chicago: Field Museum of Natureal History, Publication 142, Zoological Series, 7(9):223-338.
Penttinen, O.-P. and I. J. Holopainen. 1992. Seasonal feeding activity and ontogenetic dietary shifts in Crucian carp, Carassius carassius. Environmental Biology of Fishes Vol. 33, Nos. 1-2, pp. 215-221.
Piironen, J. and I. J. Holopainen. 1986. A note on seasonality in anoxia tolerance of Crucian carp (Carassius carassius [L.]) in the laboratory. Annales Zoologici Fennici Vol. 23, pp. 335-338.
Raicu, P., E. Taisescu, and P. Bãnãrescu. 1981. Carassius carassius and C. auratus, a pair of diploid and tetraploid representative species (Pisces, Cyprinidae). Cytologia 46:233-240 .
Redding, J. D. 1884. Character of the carp introduced by Capt. Henry Robinson about 1830. Bulletin of the U.S. Fish Commission 4(1884):266-267.
Seeley, H. G. 1886. The Freshwater Fishes of Europe. Cassell and Company, Ltd. London. 444 pp.
Smith, P. W. 1979. The Fishes of Illinois. University of Illinois Press, Urbana, IL. 314 pp.
Szczerbowski, J. A. & A. J. Szczerbowski. 2001. Carassius carassius (Linneaus, 1758). Pages 43-78 In: P. M. Bãnãrescu & H.-J. Paepke (Eds.) The Freshwater Fishes of Europe, Vol. 5/III; Cyprinidae 2/III and Gasterosteidae. AULA-Verlag GmbH Wiebelsheim. 305 pp.
Welcomme, R. L. 1988. International introductions of inland aquatic species. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper 294. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome, Italy. 318 pp.
Wheeler, A. 1978. Key to the fishes of northern Europe. Frederick Warne Ltd., London, England.
Wheeler, A. 2000. Status of the crucian carp, Carassius carassius (L.) in the UK. Fisheries Management and Ecology 7: 315-332.
Zhadin, V. I. and S. V. Gerd. 1963. Fauna and Flora of the Rivers Lakes and Reservoirs of the U.S.S.R. Originally published in Moskow, 1961 by Gosudarstvennoe Uchebno-Pedagogicheskoe Izdatel'stvo Misisterstva Prosveshcheniya RSFSR. Translated from Russian in 1963 by the Israel Program for Scientific Translations, Jerusalem. 626 pp.
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.