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a genus of fish of the family Cyprinidae. There are two species—the golden, or common, crucian carp (Carassius carassius ) and the silver crucian carp (C. auratus). The golden crucian carp is found in Eastern and Western Europe, as well as in Asia (as far east as the Lena River). The dorsal fin is long, and the pharyngeal teeth are uniserial. The body, which is vertically compressed, is dark brown with golden tones on the sides. The paired fins and anal fins are usually reddish. Species of this genus reach a length of 45 cm and a weight of 3 kg. The golden crucian carp lives in bodies of water that are overgrown with marshes, in enclosed lakes, and, less frequently, in rivers with sluggish currents. When the water freezes over or dries up, the fish burrow into the mud to depths reaching 70 cm. Thus, they survive cold winters and hot summers. Golden and silver crucian carps reach sexual maturity at three or four years of age. Spawning occurs in the spring; fecundity reaches 300, 000 eggs. The eggs are deposited in clusters on benthic vegetation. The golden crucian carp feeds on vegetation, zooplankton, zoobenthos, and detritus.
The silver crucian carp is found in the basin of the Pacific Ocean, throughout Siberia, and in the lower reaches of the rivers in the Aral Basin in the European USSR. It has two subspecies: C. auratus auratus and C. a. gibelio. Their silver body measures up to 45 cm long and weighs more than 1 kg. A domesticated variety of the genus Carassius is the goldfish.
Female silver crucian carps sometimes live in bodies of water without their male counterparts. Under these conditions, they crossbreed with other fishes, such as golden crucian carps and domesticated carps. The fishes of the genus Carassius are commercially valuable and are raised and bred in ponds.
A. A. SVETOVIDOVA