Common carp

Common carp

Cypinus carpio

Common name:

Common carp

Scientific name:

Cypinus carpio

Alternative common names:


The Common Carp is a large freshwater fish, growing up to 1m in length and 24 kg in weight. Both colour and scales are variable in this species. It can be found in much of South Africa, and has had a significantly negative impact on the environment. Competition with other organisms for the same food sources has resulted in biodiversity loss.

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?

Europe and Asia

What is its invasive status in South Africa?

Proposed legislation: NEMBA Category 2

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

How does it spread?

Why is it a problem?

Carp has had a destructive impact on the environment. Competition with other species of fish for the same food source has lead to a loss in biodiversity.

What does it look like?

A large, omnivorous, toothless fish reaching over 1m in length, and 24kg in weight. Colour is variable, in most cases olive above and with a lighter colour below. There is also variation in scales.

Habitat: Freshwater species, thriving in large, shallow, vegetated habitats.

Breeding: Occurs in late spring (October-December). Females lay a large number of transparent eggs.

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