Carassius carassius

The crucian carp, Carassius carassius, is one of four Carassius species, with at least 6 sub-species, belonging to the carp family Cyprinidae.

The fish is native to northern Europe and thrives in shallow waters with dense vegetation. But its numbers are declining because of changes to its habitat and the introduction of related species.

Species detail

There are 4 species within the Carassius genus:

  • crucian carp, Carassius carassius
  • goldfish, Carassius auratus
  • Japanese (white) crucian carp, Carassius cuvieri
  • gibel carp, Carassius gibelio
  • Carassius carassius

    The crucian carp hides itself in submerged vegetation at the bottom of shallow water courses where it burrows for food in the mud. Find out more.

  • Norfolk crucian carp/goldfish hybrid

    Carassius carassius lives in ponds and streams, often with its close relatives. Find out more about this fish’s habits and what is causing its decline.

  • Juvenile Carassius carassius

    C. carassius populations are decreasing in Britain and the species is now being targeted for conservation. Find out what’s being done.

  • Carassius carassius

    Get reference information for Carassius carassius.


Carassius carassius

Carassius carassius

© Gilles San Martin
Carassius carassius

Carassius carassius

© Piet Spaans (Viridiflavus), Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Carassius carassius

Carassius carassius

© Viridiflavus, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0
Juvenile Carassius carassius

Juvenile Carassius carassius from a pool near the Nederrijn, Netherlands.

© Piet Spaans (Viridiflavus), Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Norfolk crucian carp/goldfish hybrid

Norfolk crucian carp/goldfish hybrid

© G Copp

Jorge Salgado
Zoology PhD Student
Department of Zoology
Natural History Museum

Gordon Copp
Salmon and freshwater team
Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas)

Author's quote - Jorge Salgado

"C. carassius is an extraordinary freshwater species that used to be common in the Norfolk Broads. Recent research has revealed that numbers have declined by around 75% between the 1970s and 2009. As a consequence it is vital for the survival of the species that people learn more about it and the causes of its decline."

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Living at the bottom of a body of water.


Hidden, camouflaged.


Mating of two separate species to form a hybrid.


Interface between land and a river or stream.