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Carps Minnows and Relatives: Cypriniformes

Silver Carp (hypophthalmichthys Molitrix): Species Accounts

Physical characteristics: Silver carp are usually 12 to 16 inches (30 to 40 centimeters) long. They are brassy olive on the back and silver-white on the lower sides and belly. Silver carp have one row of bones in the throat that are used for crushing food.


Geographic range: Silver carp are native to China and eastern Siberia but have been introduced worldwide.


Habitat: Silver carp live in standing or flowing waters such as ponds, lakes, and rivers.


Diet: Silver carp eat plankton.

Behavior and reproduction: Silver carp are known for leaping clear of the water when disturbed. They often swim just beneath the water In some areas silver carp are used for cleaning bodies of water where excess algae is a problem. (Illustration by Emily Damstra. Reproduced by permission.) surface. These fish migrate to the middle or upper reaches of a river to breed. The eggs and larvae float downstream to floodplain zones.


Silver carp and people: Silver carp is an important food fish. In some areas silver carp are used mainly for cleaning bodies of water where excess algae is a problem.


Conservation status: Silver carp are not threatened or endangered. ∎

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceFish and Other Cold-Blooded VertebratesCarps Minnows and Relatives: Cypriniformes - Behavior And Reproduction, Minnow, Carps, And Loaches And Their Relatives And People, Conservation Status - PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS, GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET