Black Carp Mylopharyngodon piceus and Grass Carp Ctenopharyngodon idella are morphologically similar species native to eastern Asia and imported to North America as biological control organisms. Preferred identification methods are coloration and pharyngeal tooth form. Grass Carp possess serrated teeth and Black Carp molariform teeth. Examination of pharyngeal teeth causes extensive damage to a specimen and is labor and time intensive. Coloration can vary within a species and fades with preservation. We present a suite of external characteristics consisting of a truss network canonical variate analysis of distance measurements among landmarks on the lateral view of the head of each fish, the ratio of head length to mouth width, the visible presence of the premaxilla viewed dorsally with the mouth fully closed, and anterior lateral line angles among scales. Canonical variate analysis suggested that Grass Carp have a deeper head at the preoperculum and Black Carp a more elongate head relative to the preoperculum and eye. Comparisons of head length to mouth width ratio, visibility of the premaxilla dorsally with the mouth fully closed, and anterior lateral line angles all served as external characteristics of species, but outliers were present for each method. Because of the plastic morphology of wild populations, we suggest that a combination of characters be applied for identification.
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Characteristics for the external identification of Black Carp from Grass Carp|
|Series title||Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management|
|Contributing office(s)||Columbia Environmental Research Center, Great Lakes Science Center|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|