Carp - Black
- Large bodied‐can reach 6 feet in length and 150 pounds
- Elongated, laterally compressed body
- Blackish‐brown scales grading to bluish gray to almost white belly
- Pointed head with a flattened anterior (front) portion
- Young individuals look very similar to grass carp (another invasive species) but have pharyngeal teeth
Illustration by Joseph R. Tomelleri
U.S. Geological Survey, Bugwood.org
A threat to the Great Lakes!
Black carp feed on mollusks and snails, consuming up to 20% of their body weight per day.
If they become established in the Great Lakes, black carp could pose a major threat to Michigan’s native mussel populations, many of which are endangered, threatened, of special concern, or in need of conservation.
Black carp would compete with mollusk-eating native fish, including freshwater drum, redhorse species and the state threatened lake sturgeon, for limited food resources.
Habitat: Large rivers and lakes but require large rivers for reproduction (water current keeps their eggs from sinking to the bottom).
Diet: Their diet consists primarily of mussels and snails, but also includes freshwater shrimp, crayfish, and insects.
Native Range: China, part of eastern Russia, possibly northern Vietnam.
U.S. Distribution: Reported in Arkansas, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi and Missouri.
Potential Means of Introduction: Illinois River or flood connections with Great Lakes waters.
Other Names: Chinese black carp, black amur, Chinese roach, snail carp, black Chinese roach