Bigheaded Carps: A Biological Synopsis and Environmental Risk Assessment

Chapter 7: Biology and Natural History of Largescale Silver Carp


Compared to bighead Hypophthalmichthys nobilis and silver H. molitrix carps, there is very limited information concerning the largescale silver carp. Most of the apparently limited amount of literature that has been published is in the Vietnamese or Chinese languages.

Largescale silver carp prefer slow-moving, plankton-rich open waters. This species is a nocturnal feeder and remains in deeper waters during daylight hours (Pearl River Fisheries Research Institute 1991). Chen (1998) noted that migrations into flowing waters are associated with spawning behavior. He also noted that largescale silver carp typically reside in slow-moving, open waters. The only information we found on local movements involved diurnal feeding movements of this species.

Although we found no information on temperature tolerance, the native range of this species (21–22N) indicates that it is a subtropical to tropical species and may be intolerant of temperate climates. Nevertheless, hybrids between this species and silver carp are established in the middle Syr Dar’ya River (ca. 44–46N) in Kazakstan (Payusova and Shubnikova 1986; Salikhov and Kamilov 1995), a clear indication that the hybrids are tolerant of a temperate climate.

No information was found on the salinity tolerance of largescale silver carp. Considering that this species is most closely related to silver carp with which it hybridizes, its salinity tolerance is probably similar to that of silver carp.

We found no information on reproductive biology of largescale silver carp.