Habitat & Range
Koi are native to Central Europe but can be found throughout the world. They prefer to inhabit slow-moving, large bodies of water with soft sediments.
The koi is a domesticated variety of the common carp. They have two barbells on each side of their head and serrated dorsal and anal fin spines. The most common color patterns include white, black, red, yellow, blue and cream.
Koi are omnivorous, eating mostly invertebrates like mollusks and crustaceans. They also eat a variety of insects, fish eggs, fish remains, plant tubers and seeds.
Reproduction & Lifespan
Like most fish, koi reproduce through spawning, in which a female lays a vast number of eggs and one or more males fertilize them. Eggs typically hatch in about a week, at which point no further parental care is required.
Although maximum longevity is listed as 47 years, the average lifespan of a koi is about 20 years.
Fantastic Fact Ink-spiration
The word koi comes from the Japanese for “carp”, but is also a homophone for a Japanese word meaning “affection” or “love”. Therefore, the koi fish has become a symbol of love and friendship in Japan and is commonly seen in tattoos.
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