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Evolution and Varieties of Goldfish

Author锛欳hinese goldfish
 Evolution of Goldfish

Goldfish, belonging to the Cyprinidae family of the Cyprinoid order in terms of Zoology, was originally produced in China. Up to the present, Goldfish is still reputed as Chinese Goldfish over the world. Goldfish is famous for its flamboyant color, Junoesque posture, and elegant swimming gesture, as well as quiet and tender temperament. It is described as the "fairy covered with golden scale" or "the peony in water" by Chinese people while crowned with "the oriental saint fish" by scholars in the West.

As far back as the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the fashion of "believing in Buddhism and abstaining the killing of living things" was prevailing. At that time, many Fangshengchi (pools for freeing captive animals) was constructed for breeding captured aureate crucians. As a result, the crucian under protection became a semi-cultivated pet fish. In the Song Dynasty (960-1279), fish cultivation transformed from semi-domestic breeding to domestic breeding, and Goldfish formally became a breed. It is until the last year of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the cultivation of Goldfish enters its heyday, when the double tai-finned fish was cultivated. Since then, many varieties with odd shape and high ornamental value were brought into existence, such as bubble eye, "goose-neck, "reversed gill, and "pompon", etc.

In the Song Dynasty (960-1279), when the Goldfish cultivation transformed to artificial breeding, some varieties were spread to Japan. In the early 17th century, some varieties were introduced to Portugal and Britain. In 1728, the Netherlands started artificial propagation of Goldfish which soon prevailed across Europe. In the 18th century, it was introduced to the United States. At present, Goldfish has pervaded all over the world, with more than 300 definite varieties.

 Varieties of Goldfish

Crucian series

Chinese Goldfish, according to their characteristics of head, body, tail fin and the existing of back-fin, can be classified into four strains of breed, i.e., crucian series, Wen series, dragon series and egg series.

Crucian series, similar to the common crucian in appearance, is the earliest variety living in wild grasses. Long and narrow streamlined body, small eyes, and single tail fin are the main characteristics of it. They swim quickly and are not afraid of human. Through long-term domestication, they can swim in ranks following people's ring tone or swarm together to scramble for food. In terms of color and luster, this series can be fallen into following varieties: white-grass crucian, aurum crucian, inkiness crucian, yellow-black crucian, and red-white crucian.    

Wen series

Wen() series are characterized by short body conformation, pointed head and lip, round abdomen, small and flat eyes which don't bulge out of the orbital cavity like other types of Goldfish. The name "Wen" is originated from its back-fin and big tail fin, which looks like the Chinese character " (wen) ". The body color of "Wen series" Goldfish mainly consists of red, reddish black, red-white, blue, purple and dapple of five colors. The leading varieties include "Wen Goldfish", "lion-head and "pearl-scale".        

Dragon series

The "dragon-eye Goldfish" is the representative breed of the "dragon series", which is characterized by short and thick body conformation, back-fin, big tail fin, flat and wide head. It got the name "dragon eye" because its two eyeballs distinctly protrude out of the orbital cavity. Generally, the body color usually contains red, white, black, red-white dapple and dapple of five colors. The leading varieties include "red dragon-eye", "white dragon-eye", "red-white dappled dragon-eye", "blue dragon-eye, purple dragon-eye" "tall-headed dragon-eye" and "redcap dragon-eye" etc.           

Egg series

The main features of "egg series" are: no back-fin, fat and short body that looks like an egg. The tail fin has four leaves of different length, flat and wide head, and flat eyes. Its body color usually contains red, white, and dapple of five colors, etc. The main varieties include "egg fish", "egg phoenix", "longevity", "bubble eye" and "Chaotianyan" (with eyes facing upwards).