Cyprinus – Typical carps

Valued both for their resilience and their nutritional value

This genus is perhaps best known for including one of the most recognized and culturally significant freshwater fish species: the common carp. They are typically characterized by their robust body, large scales, and barbels on either side of the upper jaw, which are sensitive and help the fish in detecting food on the muddy bottom of water bodies. These fish are known for their adaptability to various aquatic environments and can be found in a wide range of water conditions.

Originally native to Asia and parts of Europe, species within the Cyprinus genus have been introduced to environments worldwide due to their popularity in fishing and aquaculture. The common carp, for example, has been transported and established populations in many parts of the world, including North America, Africa, and Australia. They are omnivorous, consuming a diet that includes aquatic vegetation, insects, and small water organisms. They are known for their ability to thrive in various environments, partly due to their flexible diet. Carp often stir up the substrate of their habitats while feeding, which can lead to increased turbidity in the water, affecting other aquatic life.

In many cultures, carp are also significant in cuisine and are a traditional part of meals during certain holidays, such as Christmas in Europe.
However, the introduction of Cyprinus species into non-native waters has sometimes led to ecological challenges. In many areas, these introductions have negatively impacted local ecosystems due to the carp’s bottom-feeding habits, which can destroy aquatic plants and disrupt sediment layers.