Data on the parasite fauna of the European common carp Cyprinus carpio carpio and Asian common carp Cyprinus carpio haematopterus support an Asian ancestry of the species

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The common carp subspecies (Cyprinus carpio carpio) has been regarded as an autochtonous species of Europe. Evidence obtained by comparing the parasite fauna of the European and the Asian subspecies (Cyprinus carpio haematopterus) establish that such fish in the Far East harbour a significantly richer array of parasite species, and were the exclusive hosts of most of the specific parasites, including all monogenean and myxosporean spp., until recent intensive fish translocations from the Far East. I therefore propose that the common carp originated in the Far-East. The common carp would have originally inhabited only the Far East freshwaters, arriving in Europe in the Middle Ages by anthropogenic transfers. During the long trip from China to Europe, the common carp lost its original parasite fauna. In its new habitat, it acquired some parasite from the crucian carp, Carassius carassius, a closely related fish. Infection of the European subspecies with the Asian parasites that had been lost in Europe recommenced only in the middle of the last century, when the Amur wild carp and the coloured carp variations became introduced to Europe. The examination of the parasite fauna of fishes is an excellent tool for surveying the origin of fishes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-400
Number of pages10
JournalAACL Bioflux
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 21 2009



  • Monogeneans
  • Myxosporeans
  • Origin of carp
  • Parasitiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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