Carassius gibelio (Prussian carp)
- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Distribution Table
- History of Introduction and Spread
- Habitat List
- Biology and Ecology
- Water Tolerances
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Pathway Causes
- Pathway Vectors
- Impact Summary
- Economic Impact
- Environmental Impact
- Threatened Species
- Risk and Impact Factors
- Uses List
- Detection and Inspection
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Carassius gibelio (Bloch, 1782)
Preferred Common Name
- Prussian carp
Other Scientific Names
- Carassius auratus gibelio
- Carassius auratus gibelio vovkii Johansen, 1945
- Carassius ellipticus Heckel, 1848
- Carassius vulgaris kolenty Dybowski, 1877
- Carassius vulgaris ventrosus Walecki, 1863
- Cyprinus amarus Koch, 1840
- Cyprinus gibelio Bloch, 1782
International Common Names
- English: giebel; golden carp; silver crucian carp
Local Common Names
- Bulgaria: srebarna karracuda
- China: yin ji
- Czech Republic: karas stríbritý; karas stribrity eurasijsky; karas striebristy
- Denmark: damkaruds; damkarusse; sølvkaruds
- Estonia: gibel carp; hõbekoger
- Finland: hopearuutana
- Germany: Silberkarausche
- Greece: iItaliko; petalouda; petalouda
- Hungary: ezüst kárász
- Kyrgyzstan: cyeryebryaniy karas' (Silver crucian); kumustoy taman balik
- Latvia: serebreanyi karas; sudrabkarusa
- Lithuania: sidabrinis karosas
- Mongolia: giebel carp
- Netherlands: giebel
- Poland: karas srebrzysty; karas srebrzysty a. japonczyk
- Romania: caracuda argintie; caras; caras-argintiu; crap-caras
- Russian Federation: obyknovennyi serebryanyi karas'; syeryebristiy karas'; syeryebryaniy karas'
- Serbia: karas zlatas
- Slovenia: zlatni koreselj
- Sweden: silverruda
- Turkey: kirmizi havuz baligi
- Ukraine: karas sriblyastyi; serebryanyi karas
- Uzbekistan: goldfish
- Vietnam: cá diec bac
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page
C. gibelio has potential to cause economic and environmental damage by causing quantitative changes in community structure in becoming the dominant species and shifts in food chains, and by altering the physical and chemical properties of habitats. A major biological trait responsible for invasiveness in C. gibelio is its mode of reproduction. Invading populations are often triploid and composed of almost exclusively females that exhibit apomictic (gynogenetic) reproduction, using the sperm of other species to activate (but not fertilize) their own eggs. C. gibelio have been introduced intentionally for the purposes of food production and unintentionally due to the similarity in appearance between C. gibelio and native Carassius spp.
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Metazoa
- Phylum: Chordata
- Subphylum: Vertebrata
- Class: Actinopterygii
- Order: Cypriniformes
- Family: Cyprinidae
- Genus: Carassius
- Species: Carassius gibelio
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
The identity of the fish on which basis Bloch described the species Carassius gibelio (Bloch, 1782) is considered by some to be doubtful. The Carassiusauratus complex with a number of forms (formerly subspecies) are recognised by some authors. In waters of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, 4 forms are recognised and include C. auratus gibelio (M Lusk, Institute of Vertebrate Biology ASCR, Czech Republic, personal communication, 2011).
DescriptionTop of page
C. gibelio may be identified from its congeners in Europe by having the following characters: body silvery-brown in colour; last simple anal and dorsal rays strongly serrated; 37-52 gill rakers; lateral line with 29-33 scales; freed edge of dorsal concave or straight; anal fin with 5½ branched rays; and peritoneum black (Kottelat and Freyhof, 2007).
DistributionTop of page
C. gibelio is distributed in Europe and Asia: it is usually considered as native from central Europe to Siberia or introduced to European waters from eastern Asia. Clear and definite data on original distribution in Europe are not available due to introduction, confusion with Carassius auratus and complex modes of reproduction. At present, it is widely distributed and commonly stocked together with Cyprinus carpio which is transported throughout Europe. It is absent in the northern Baltic basin, Iceland, Ireland, Scotland and the Mediterranean islands (Kottelat and Freyhof, 2007).
This species has also been reported as invasive in Alberta, Canada (Elgin et al., 2014; Ruppert et al., 2017).
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|Armenia||Widespread||Introduced||1980s||Gabrielyan, 2001||Found in almost all ponds, lakes and rivers of the Ararat Valley, as well as in reservoirs in most regions of Armenia|
|China||Present||Native||Froese and Pauly, 2011|
|Georgia (Republic of)||Present||Native||Blanc et al., 1971|
|Kyrgyzstan||Present||Native||Blanc et al., 1971|
|Mongolia||Present||Native||Froese and Pauly, 2011|
|Turkey||Present||Introduced||Froese and Pauly, 2011|
|Turkmenistan||Present||Native||Froese and Pauly, 2011|
|Uzbekistan||Present||Introduced||Froese and Pauly, 2011|
|Canada||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Present based on regional distribution|
|-Alberta||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Elgin et al., 2014|
|Albania||Present||Native||Lusk, pers. comm.; Froese and Pauly, 2011|
|Austria||Present||Native||Lusk, pers. comm.; Blanc et al., 1971|
|Belarus||Widespread||Introduced||1940s||Invasive||Semenchenko et al., 2011||Occupies all river basins and majority of lakes|
|Belgium||Widespread||Introduced||1600s||Invasive||Verreycken et al., 2007|
|Bosnia-Hercegovina||Present||Native||Lusk, pers. comm.; Froese and Pauly, 2011|
|Bulgaria||Present||Native||Lusk, pers. comm.; Blanc et al., 1971|
|Croatia||Present||Native||Lusk, pers. comm.; Froese and Pauly, 2011|
|Czech Republic||Widespread||Introduced||1976||Invasive||Lusková et al., 2010||Occupies all suitable available habitats in the Czech Republic|
|Denmark||Present||Introduced||Froese and Pauly, 2011|
|Estonia||Widespread||Introduced||1948-1949||Invasive||Vetemaa et al., 2005||First introduced into fish ponds and small lakes of Estonia in 1948–49, and first detected in Estonian brackish waters (Gulf of Riga) in 1985|
|France||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Froese and Pauly, 2011|
|Germany||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Froese and Pauly, 2011|
|Greece||Present||Native||Lusk, pers. comm.; Froese and Pauly, 2011|
|Hungary||Present||Native||Lusk, pers. comm.; Froese and Pauly, 2011|
|Latvia||Present||Native||Lusk, pers. comm.; Blanc et al., 1971|
|Lithuania||Present||Native||Lusk, pers. comm.; Blanc et al., 1971|
|Moldova||Present||Native||Lusk, pers. comm.; Blanc et al., 1971|
|Netherlands||Present||Native||Lusk, pers. comm.; Blanc et al., 1971|
|Poland||Present||Introduced||1940s||Invasive||Semenchenko et al., 2011|
|Romania||Present||Native||Lusk, pers. comm.; Blanc et al., 1971|
|Russian Federation||Present||Native||Lusk, pers. comm.; Froese and Pauly, 2011|
|Serbia||Present||Native||Lusk, pers. comm.; Blanc et al., 1971|
|Slovakia||Present||Native||Lusk, pers. comm.|
|Switzerland||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Froese and Pauly, 2011|
|Ukraine||Present||Native||Lusk, pers. comm.; Blanc et al., 1971|
History of Introduction and SpreadTop of page
C. gibelio was intentionally introduced either to Belarus or Poland for stock enhancement, recreational and aquaculture purposes, with a secondary dispersal route being the central corridor (the rivers Dnieper and Pripyat, the Dnieper-Bug Canal, the Western River Bug, the River Vistula, the Bydgoski Canal, the rivers Notec, Warta, and Oder, the Oder-Spree and Oder-Havel canals, and the River Rhine). During a recent survey, C. gibelio were not found in the main riverbed of the River Pripyat, but occurred in its oxbows, although it was only caught in low numbers (two to three individuals per fish-net). In the Vistula and Bug river basins, C. gibelio have been noted since the 1940s; however, during recent surveys it was present only in the Wloclawski Reservoir in the lower River Vistula (Semenchenko et al., 2011).
In Belgium, C. gibelio is thought to have been introduced together with common carp, but there is no supporting archaeological or historical evidence and the species was probably present in Flanders at least by the seventeenth century. Now the most widespread non-indigenous fish in Flanders, C. gibelio occurs locally in high densities. The physical similarity of the brown variety of goldfish, C. gibelio and native crucian carp Carassius carassius has resulted in these species being commonly mistaken for native crucian carp (Wheeler, 2000; Vetemaa et al., 2005). This confusion led to many legal stockings of C. gibelio, instead of crucian carp, into Flemish public waters until the 1990s when the Flemish government prohibited the stocking of both species. Stocking with native crucian carp of known origin (from aquaculture facilities of the Flemish government) was reinstated in 2000. Despite the prohibition on C. gibelio stocking, the number of sites inhabited by C. gibelio carp increased significantly between 1996 and 2005 but in significantly decreasing relative densities. This suggests that C. gibelio carp are still in a dispersal and colonization phase, but that established populations are stabilizing within the invaded communities since stocking ceased (Verreycken et al., 2007).
C. gibelio dispersed into the river networks of the Czech Republic from the River Danube via the River Morava. The first recordings, around the confluence of the Morava and Dyje rivers, date from 1976. Over subsequent years, C. gibelio gradually invaded streams within drainage areas through natural dispersal, overcoming boundaries due to both the intentional and unintentional help of man, predominantly as an admixture to carp (Cyprinus carpio) stocking material. Within 15 years, C. gibelio had occupied all suitable habitats in the Czech Republic (Lusková et al., 2010), recognised as C. a. gibelio (see Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature). The first occupations in 1975-1985 were by triploid females. The occurrence of triploid males and tetraploid males and females is very scarce (Luskova et al., 2004; 2008).
C. gibelio are present in the Thrace region of Turkey. The path of entry is unknown although it is possible that the fish entered either through natural dispersal through river systems from Greece and Bulgaria, or were introduced by humans. Fishermen have admitted intentionally introductions from Kayali Dam to Büyükcekmece Dam Lake (Özulug et al., 2004).
HabitatTop of page
C. gibelio inhabit a wide variety of still water bodies and lowland rivers, usually associated with submerged vegetation or regular flooding (Kottelat and Freyhof, 2007). As a warm water species, gibel carp is known to prefer shallow, eutrophic waters with dense vegetation with large adult specimens and is only occasionally captured in the open deeper and colder waters (Vetemaa et al., 2005). A study in Turkey suggests that gibel carp is required to exert more reproductive effort to invade natural ecosystems than artificial waters (Tarkan et al., 2012a).
Habitat ListTop of page
|Rivers / streams||Principal habitat|
Biology and EcologyTop of page
A feature of stocks is the predominance of triploid gynogenetic females with chromosome numbers of around 150 and diploid females and males with about 100 chromosomes, which reproduce sexually. Only comparably few diploid females and very few males occur (Tsoumani et al., 2006). The mitochondrial genome of this species has been published by Triantafyllidis et al. (2011).
In the waters of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the application of genetic analyses of mitochondrial DNA and the cytochrome b gene has provided evidence for the presence of four phylogenetic lineages that correspond to the four given forms of the Carassius auratus complex (see Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature) (M Lusk, Institute of Vertebrate Biology ASCR, Czech Republic, personal communication, 2011).
C. gibelio are able to reproduce from unfertilized eggs (gynogenesis) (Spratte and Hartmann, 1997).
The maximum reported age is 10 years old (Kottelat and Freyhof, 2007).
Lake dwelling individuals move into river mouths to avoid low oxygen water in winter (Kottelat and Freyhof, 2007).
C. gibelio can strongly tolerate low oxygen concentrations and pollution (Kottelat and Freyhof, 2007).
ClimateTop of page
|BS - Steppe climate||Preferred||> 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitation|
|BW - Desert climate||Preferred||< 430mm annual precipitation|
|Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year||Preferred||Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year|
|Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer||Preferred||Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers|
|Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter||Preferred||Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)|
|Df - Continental climate, wet all year||Preferred||Continental climate, wet all year (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, wet all year)|
|Ds - Continental climate with dry summer||Preferred||Continental climate with dry summer (Warm average temp. > 10°C, coldest month < 0°C, dry summers)|
Water TolerancesTop of page
|Parameter||Minimum Value||Maximum Value||Typical Value||Status||Life Stage||Notes|
|Dissolved oxygen (mg/l)||Optimum||Tolerates low (not quantified) DO|
|Salinity (part per thousand)||Optimum||9 tolerated|
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page
The natural enemies of C. gibelio are not described but juvenile stages are likely to be vulnerable to predation by piscivorous fish.
Means of Movement and DispersalTop of page
It is highly likely that C. a. gibelio [C. gibelio] has been introduced mistakenly as C. carassius and other Carassius species, or unitentionally mixed with Cyprinus carpio (M Lusk, Institute of Vertebrate Biology ASCR, Czech Republic, personal communication, 2011).
C. a. gibelio [C. gibelio] has been intentionally introduced for production reasons and also possibly for sport angling in the eastern parts of the former Soviet Union and in several countries in eastern Europe (M Lusk, Institute of Vertebrate Biology ASCR, Czech Republic, personal communication, 2011).
Automigration of C. a. gibelio [C. gibelio] has taken place within river basins (e.g. in the Czech Republic: Danube – Morava rivers; Slovakia: Danube (western part), Tisa River (eastern part)) (M Lusk, Institute of Vertebrate Biology ASCR, Czech Republic, personal communication, 2011).
Pathway CausesTop of page
Impact SummaryTop of page
Economic ImpactTop of page
In aquaculture systems, C. gibelio is an unwelcome competitor with cultures of the major reared species. The occurrence of numerous populations of C. gibelio in fishponds causes considerable economic loss in the Czech Republic as there is no market for the species. Even when it can be sold, it reaches a considerably lower price (Lusková et al., 2010).
Environmental ImpactTop of page
C. gibelio has caused significant impact in all countries of introduction in Europe (Savini et al., 2010, comparison of invasive species databases). In a 6-year study in a mesotrophic reservoir in Turkey, Tarkan et al. (2012b) observed a relative decrease in native cyprinid density when C. gibelio density increased. This was attributed to a combination of degrading environmental conditions and reproductive competition by C. gibelio.
Threatened SpeciesTop of page
Risk and Impact FactorsTop of page Impact outcomes
- Altered trophic level
- Changed gene pool/ selective loss of genotypes
- Damaged ecosystem services
- Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
- Modification of natural benthic communities
- Modification of nutrient regime
- Negatively impacts aquaculture/fisheries
- Reduced native biodiversity
- Threat to/ loss of native species
- Competition - monopolizing resources
- Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
- Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
- Difficult to identify/detect in the field
Uses ListTop of page
Human food and beverage
- Meat/fat/offal/blood/bone (whole, cut, fresh, frozen, canned, cured, processed or smoked)
Detection and InspectionTop of page
For a key on the identification of this species, see Luo and Yue (2000).
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page
C. gibelio are very similar to other members of the Carassius genus, Cyprinus carpio and hybrids of these species.
Gaps in Knowledge/Research NeedsTop of page
Knowledge gaps are around their actual distribution in their invasive range, given the confusion in their identification. This is required to prevent their further accidental spread.
ReferencesTop of page
Blanc M, Gaudet JL, Banarescu P, Hureau JC, 1971. European inland water fish: a multilingual catalogue. London: Fishing News (Books) Ltd
Burmakin EV, 1963. [English title not available]. (Akklimatizatsiya presnovodnykh ryb v SSSR.) Izvestia Gos-NIORKh, 53:1-318
Elgin, E. L., Tunna, H. R., Jackson, L. J., 2014. First confirmed records of Prussian carp, Carassius gibelio (Bloch, 1782) in open waters of North America. BioInvasions Records, 3(4), 275-282. http://www.reabic.net/journals/bir/2014/4/BIR_2014_Elgin_etal.pdf doi: 10.3391/bir.2014.3.4.09
Freyhof J, Kottelat M, 2008. Carassius carassius. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. http://www.iucnredlist.org
Holcík J, 1980. Carassius auratus (Pisces) in the Danube River. Acta Sc.Nat.SSB-Brno, 14(11):1-43
Holcík J, Zitnan R, 1978. On the expansion and origin of Carassius auratus in Czechoslovakia. Folia Zool, 27:279-288
Karpevich AF, Bokova EN, 1963. [English title not available]. (Peresadka ryb i vodnych bezpozvonocnych, provedennaja v SSSR za 1960-1961.) Voprosy Ikhtiologii, 2(27):366-395
Karpevich AN, Lokshina IE, 1967. [English title not available]. (Peresadka ryb i vodnych bezpozvonocnych v 1964.) Voprosy Ikhtiologii, 6(47):1105-1118
Luo Y, Yue P, 2000. Cyprinidae: Cyprininae. In: Fauna Sinica. Osteichthyes. Cypriniformes III [ed. by Yue, P. \Shan, X. \Chu, X.]. Beijing, China: Science Press, 391-433
Lusková V, Halacka K, Vetešník L, Lusk S, 2004. Changes of ploidy and sexuality status of "Carassius auratus" populations in the drainage area of the River Dyje (Czech Republic). Ecohydrology + Hydrobiology, 4(2):165-171
Lusková V, Lusk S, Halacka K, Vetesník L, 2010. Carassius auratus gibelio - the most successful invasive fish in waters of the Czech Republic. Russian Journal of Biological Invasions, 1(3):176-180. http://www.maik.ru/abstract/bioinv/10/bioinv0176_abstract.pdf
Lusková V, Lusk S, Halacka K, Vetesník L, Papousek I, 2008. Ploidy and sexual status of the "Carassius auratus" complex in the waters of the Czech Republic. In: Proc. XI. Czech Internat. Ichthyological Conf. 150-155
Ruppert JLW, Docherty C, Neufeld K, Hamilton K, MacPherson L, Poesch MS, 2017. Native freshwater species get out of the way: Prussian carp (Carassius gibelio) impacts both fish and benthic invertebrate communities in North America. Royal Society Open Science, 4, 170400. doi: 10.1098/rsos.170400
Savini D, Occhipinti-Ambrogi A, Marchini A, Tricarico E, Gherardi F, Olenin S, Gollasch S, 2010. The top 27 animal alien species introduced into Europe for aquaculture and related activities. Journal of Applied Ichthyology [Alien species in aquaculture and fisheries. Proceedings of a conference Managing Alien Species for Sustainable Development of Aquaculture and Fisheries (MALIAF), University of Florence, Italy, 5-7 November 2008.], 26(s2):1-7. http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/loi/jai
Semenchenko V, Grabowska J, Grabowski M, Rizevsky V, Pluta M, 2011. Non-native fish in Belarusian and Polish areas of the European central invasion corridor. Oceanological and Hydrobiological Studies, 40(1):57- 67
Specziar A, Biro L, Tolg L, 1998. Feeding and competition of five cyprinid fishes in different habitats of the Lake Balaton littoral zone. Hungary and Italy Journal of Zoology, 65:331-336
Spratte S, Hartmann U, 1997. [English title not available]. (Fischartenkataster: Süsswasserfische und Neunaugen in Schleswig-Holstein. Ministerium für ländliche Räume, Landwirtschaft, Ernährung und Tourismus, Kiel Germany.) FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication [ed. by Froese, R. \Pauly, D.]. http://www.fishbase.org
Tarkan AS, Copp GH, Top N, Özdemir N, Önsoy B, Bilge G, Filiz H, Yapici S, Ekmekçi FG, Kirankaya SG, Emiroglu Ö, Gaygusuz Ö, Gaygusuz ÇG, Oymak A, Özcan G, Saç G, 2012. Are introduced gibel carp Carassius gibelio in Turkey more invasive in artificial than in natural waters? Fisheries Management and Ecology, 19(2):178-187. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1365-2400
Tarkan AS, Gaygusuz Ö, Gaygusuz ÇG, Saç G, Copp GH, 2012. Circumstantial evidence of gibel carp, Carassius gibelio, reproductive competition exerted on native fish species in a mesotrophic reservoir. Fisheries Management and Ecology, 19(2):167-177. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1365-2400
Triantafyllidis A, Bobori D, Koliamitra C, Gbandi E, Mpanti M, Petriki O, Karaiskou N, 2011. DNA barcoding analysis of fish species diversity in four north Greek lakes. Mitochondrial DNA, 22(S1):37-42
Tsoumani M, Liasko R, Moutsaki P, Kagalou I, Leonardos I, 2006. Length-weight relationships of an invasive cyprinid fish (Carassius gibelio) from 12 Greek lakes in relation to their trophic states. Journal of Applied Ichthyology, 22:281-284
Verreycken H, Anseeuw D, Thuyne Gvan, Quataert P, Belpaire C, 2007. The non-indigenous freshwater fishes of Flanders (Belgium): review, status and trends over the last decade. Journal of Fish Biology, 71(Suppl. D):160-172. http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1095-8649.2007.01679.x
Vetemaa M, Eschbaum R, Albert A, Saat T, 2005. Distribution, sex ratio and growth of Carassius gibelio (Bloch) in coastal and inland waters of Estonia (north-eastern Baltic Sea). Journal of Applied Ichthyology, 21:287-291
Özulug M, Meric N, Freyhof J, 2004. The distribution of Carssius gibelio (Bloch, 1782) (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) in Thrace (Turkey). Zoology in the Middle East, 31:63-66
ContributorsTop of page
31/08/11 Original text by:
Rob Britton, Centre for Conservation Ecology, Bournemouth University, Poole, Dorset, BH12 5BB, UK
Reviewers' names are available on request.
Distribution MapsTop of page
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