Cyprinus carpio Linnaeus 1758
European carp


image 39KK jpeg 35mm (14in) from Sacramento River system, Davis, California. Peter Unmack photo.


To around 1.2m (4ft) TL.

Introduced Distribution & Abundance

In Central Australia they are only known from a dam at Leigh Creek coal mine, on a tributary to Frome Creek (which drains directly to Lake Eyre). Efforts have been made to poison this population twice, however both have failed (Beat Odermatt pers. comm.). Carp have also been widely illegally introduced throughout much of south-eastern Australia since the late 1960's. They are now common and widespread in most major rivers there. Native to Asia (Merrick & Schmida 1984).


The primary threat is probably competition for food and other resources. Other threats may include the introduction and persistence of parasites (such as Lernea sp.) that commonly occur on carp.

Important References

Merrick, J. R. & Schmida, G. E. 1984. Australian Freshwater Fishes: Biology and Management. Griffith Press Ltd. 409pp.

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The Australian desert fishes pages are compiled and maintained by Peter J. Unmack
Many thanks to Karen Randall for her excellent drawing of a desert goby that is
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This file was last modified:  18 March 2003