Types Of Carp From Around The World

When it comes to all of the different types of carp, there are so many to choose from.

From the lakes of Japan, all the way over to the springs of North America.

Types Of Carp From Around The World

You won’t have a problem finding a new type that you might not have heard of before.

We all know what carp fish look like, in some way, shape, or form. However, it’s good to look a bit deeper.

Carp are usually a lot bigger than the other fish in their habitat, so they can expect to be left relatively unharmed by other creatures.

Also known as a pillar species, carp fish actually absorb their environment and taste as good as their water quality is.

If they live in a swamp, then they’re bound to taste worse than a fresh river!

Follow the rest of our guide to find out some of the different species of carp from around the world.

Common Carp

When you think of this type of fish, it’s likely you’re thinking of a common carp.

Their flank is entirely covered with small scales in a pattern that’s replicated along their body. There are two barbules present on either side of the mouth.

This fish is particularly easy to spot for anglers because they look so simple. They can also grow to be massive, so they’re great to catch.

Although smaller, more desirable mirror carp are usually the target for a lot of anglers around the world, the common carp is actually a great fight and will give you something to do for a while, whilst you try to land it.

Mirror Carp

We briefly mentioned them already, so it’s only fair that we look at them closely here.

The mirror carp fish is a lot easier to spot than the common carp because they have irregular scales dotted around on their flank.

These patterns can resemble what’s referred to as a linear pattern of scales.

A mirror carp with this will have a row of singular scales down their flank on the lateral line.

Types Of Carp From Around The World

The reason this fish has the name it does is that the scales appear reflective, although they’re not.

But, some of the colors you can see on a mirror carp are truly amazing to see!

Unlike the common carp fish, the mirror carp will have irregular patterns of scales along their body, which makes every fish unique.

Leather Carp

If you’re looking at a mirror carp and a leather carp side by side, then you’re likely to see similarities.

However, there are some differences. The biggest difference is that the leather carp doesn’t have many scales, so it’s instantly recognizable.

Their skin looks leather-like, so that’s where the name comes from.

They actually only have about 3 or 4 scales on them, which are usually located close to the wrist of the tail and across the dorsal line. 

Leather carp don’t deal with fin damage very well, unlike a lot of other species of fish, with a regeneration rate of approximately 25%.

For comparison, common carp have a regeneration rate of 80%, so there’s a massive difference.

For this reason, if you catch a leather carp, you’re likely to find they have a bit of damage to their body, especially their fins.

Because leather carp have a smaller amount of fat reserve in their body, it’s likely that you can catch these fish throughout winter, as opposed to other types of carp that will be hard to find.

This is because they need to eat more during the winter months, unlike other types of carp fish.

This draws them out into the open because they are more active.

Grass Carp

When compared to the other carp in this guide, grass carp are the standout and look very different.

The biggest differentiation is that this species of carp is a lot larger and almost looks like a chub,(see also: What Are True Minnows?) rather than a carp.

With a long body and some compact scales, this fish actually lacks the barbules that a lot of other carp fish have around their mouth.

Types Of Carp From Around The World

Because of this, it’s quite common to see them feeding from the surface of the water, rather than skulking down at the bottom of the water body.

Originating in China and Siberia, these fish have now been introduced into British waters.

This was to try and combat weeds becoming too overgrown, with many anglers finding them in lakes with lots of weeds and plants.

Crucian Carp

Scientifically known as Carassius carassius, this fish is often searched for by a lot of anglers because they aren’t as easy to find as some other species of the fish.

Not to mention, they always put up a good battle when you’re trying to land one.

They are quite small in comparison to some of the carp types in our guide, which makes them desirable.

Much like the grass carp, they don’t have barbules on their face and they tend to be quite delicate feeders.

Because of this, it can be quite hard to detect when one is trying to take a bite out of your bait.

The crucian carp has small scales across its body and has a golden shade of color to the skin, which makes them look quite distinctive from other carp.

Because of their hardy nature, these fish can be seen in a variety (see also: The Different Varieties Of Puffer Fish)of different environments, from lots of weeds, cold conditions, and dirty water.


There you have it, these are some of the different types of carp fish you can expect to see around the world.

After all, they’re widely sought after because of their size and the way they battle when you have one on the end of your line.

They come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, which allows them to stand out from other types of fish.

With similar features and body types, these fish are a great find, should you find one on the end of your hook.

Olivia Kepner