Name: Common Carp
Scientific name: Cyprinus carpio
Nature Stars: 50
About: A large, heavy, deep-bodied fish that grows up to 1 metre long. A very long-lived fish, growing up to 40 years old. Carp are omnivorous, feeding on plants, algae, invertebrates and other fish. A favourite food is freshwater mussels which they will eat whole, with their shells still on. Lives in weedy ponds and lakes. It is not a native fish but was introduced in the Middle Ages for food.
How to identify: A (sometimes very) large fish, with a single pair of 'barbels' at the mouth.
Where: Found throughout the lowlands, widespread in England but rarer in Wales and Scotland.
Fantastic fact: Carp is eaten for Christmas Dinner in parts of Eastern Europe.
Photograph credit: Michel Roggo/naturepl