Caudal deeply forked; sometimes three or four lobed.
C. auratus, Linn. Syst. Nat. torn. i. p. 527. Bloch, Ichth. pls. 93, & 94. Turt. Brit. Faun. p. 108. Flem. Brit. An. p. 185. Gold-Fish, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. iii. p. 374. Id. (Edit. 1812). vol. hi. p. 490. Gold Carp, Yarr. Brit. Fish. vol. i. p. 315. La Dorade de la Chine, Cuv. Reg. An. torn. ii. p. 272.
Seldom exceeds eight or ten inches.
(Form). General form resembling that of the Carp: head short; jaws equal; eyes large; nostrils tubular, placed near the eyes: body covered with large scales: lateral line straight, near the back: fins extremely variable in form and size, as well as in the number of the rays: dorsal often very small; sometimes entirely wanting, or represented by a simple elevation on the ridge of the back: anal often double: caudal large, sometimes enormously developed; deeply forked, or divided into three or more lobes. (Colours). Black during the first year; afterwards mottled with silver; this last colour continually spreading till it occupies the entire fish: after a few years the red tint is assumed, which becomes more brilliant with age: sometimes red from birth, or before acquiring the silvery hue: fins scarlet: irides golden.
A native of China. According to Pennant, first introduced into England about the year 1691, but not generally known till 1728. Is now completely naturalized, and breeds freely in ponds in many parts of the country. Spawns in May.
(2. Barbus, Cuv).