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Ctenopharyngodon idella  (Valenciennes, 1844)

Grass carp
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Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Cypriniformes (Carps) > Cyprinidae (Minnows or carps) > Squaliobarbinae
Etymology: Ctenopharyngodon: Greek, kteis, ktenos = comb + Greek, pharyngx = pharynx + greek, odous = teeth (Ref. 45335);  idella: From the words cteno, meaning comb; pharyngodon, pharyngeal teeth (referring to the corrugate or comb-like cutting surfaces of the pharyngeal teeth); and idella (derived from ideo), meaning distinctive (Ref. 10294).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Freshwater; demersal; potamodromous (Ref. 51243); depth range 0 - 30 m (Ref. 6898).   Subtropical; ? - 35°C (Ref. 52059); 65°N - 25°N

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 58 - 79.2 cm
Max length : 150 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 30578); common length : 10.7 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 35840); max. published weight: 45.0 kg (Ref. 7248); max. reported age: 21 years (Ref. 48)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 3; Dorsal soft rays (total): 7-8; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 7 - 11. No barbels. Snout very short, its length less than or equal to eye diameter. Postorbital length more than half head length (Ref. 4967). 18 soft rays for caudal fin (Ref. 40476). Diagnosed from rather similar species Mylopharyngodon piceus by having the following characters: body olive to brassy green above, silvery white to yellow below; body cylindrical; pharyngeal teeth laterally compressed, serrated, with a groove along grinding surface, usually in two rows, 2,5-4,2 (Ref. 59043).

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Asia: China to eastern Siberia (Amur River system, Ref. 1441). Widely transported around the world (Ref. 7248). Persists only in Europe by stocking (Ref. 59043). Introductions often brought with it the parasitic tapeworm Bothriocephalus opsarichthydis (synonym of B. acheilognathi) (Ref. 12217). Several countries report adverse ecological impact after introduction.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Adults occur in lakes, ponds, pools and backwaters of large rivers (Ref. 5723), preferring large, slow-flowing or standing water bodies with vegetation. Tolerant of a wide range of temperatures from 0° to 38°C, and salinities to as much as 10 ppt and oxygen levels down to 0.5 ppm. Feed on higher aquatic plants and submerged grasses; takes also detritus, insects and other invertebrates. One of the world's most important aquaculture species and also used for weed control in rivers, fish ponds and reservoirs (Ref. 9987). Spawn on riverbeds with very strong current (Ref. 30578). Utilized also fresh and eaten steamed, pan-fried, broiled and baked (Ref. 9987). Considered as a pest in most countries because of the damages made to submerged vegetation (Ref. 43281).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Spawns in gravel bottomed areas of rivers (Ref. 48). Eggs are pelagic and hatch while drifting downstream in 2-3 days (Ref. 59043).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Shireman, J.V. and C.R. Smith, 1983. Synopsis of biological data on the grass carp, Ctenopharyngodon idella (Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1884). FAO Fish. Synop. No.135, 86 p. (Ref. 48)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Potential pest




Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; aquaculture: commercial; gamefish: yes
FAO(Aquaculture: production, species profile; fisheries: production; publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 1.0000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01349 (0.01016 - 0.01791), b=2.97 (2.89 - 3.05), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  2.0   ±0.0 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.13-0.19; tm=2-10; tmax=21; Fec=50,000).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  High to very high vulnerability (65 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.