Gable (fish)

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Gable, feminine, with a clearly pronounced lateral line.

Gable, feminine, with a clearly pronounced lateral line.

without rank: Otophysa
Order : Carp-like (Cypriniformes)
Subordination : Carp fish-like (Cyprinoidei)
Family : Carp fish (Cyprinidae)
Genre : Carassius
Type : gable
Scientific name
Carassius gibelio
( Bloch , 1782)

The gable or the silver crucian carp , Carassius gibelio (Bloch, 1782) , is a medium-sized carp fish closely related to the crucian carp with a diffuse distribution in fresh and brackish waters of Eurasia . It is considered the ancestral form of the goldfish .


The gable on the copper engraving for the first description by Bloch, 1782

The gable is a typical, mostly high-backed and beardless carp fish with a silvery, shimmering, gray-green basic color, with a lightening gradient from the back to the belly side. The body is completely scaled, with the edges of the scales having a light-colored edge. The lateral line organ is complete and clearly defined. All unpaired fins are dark gray, pectoral and pelvic fins gray-green with a milky membrane. The homocerk tail fin is forked. If you open the body cavity of the freshly dead gable, you will see that the peritoneum is almost black pigmented. In rare cases, the peritoneum color of the gable is shiny and silvery - but never transparent as with the crucian carp.

Gables usually reach total lengths of 40 centimeters; Individual cases of larger specimens are described, but not documented. Like all carp fish, gables do not have a stomach . Their jaws are toothless, but there are strong pharyngeal teeth in the throat . The food taken in with the mouth that can be pushed forward is crushed between these gullet teeth and a very massive bony chewing plate opposite them, the so-called carp stone. The actual digestion takes place in the intestine. Gables belong to the Ostariophysi , which have a common feature of Weber's apparatus , which enables them to absorb acoustic stimuli. With the help of this bony structure, sound waves captured by the swim bladder are conducted to the inner ear.

The gable is similar to the beardless crucian carp ( Carassius carassius ( Linné ) 1758). Externally, the species can be distinguished by the shape of the dorsal fin, which is straight or slightly curved inward ( concave ) on the gable , but curved outward (convex) in older specimens of the crucian carp.

Fin formula : dorsal 18-23, pectoral 15-16, ventral 7-9, anal 7-9, caudal 18-20.

Scale formula : number of scales on the side line, mSL: 27-33.

Gill spines : 37-55.


In the first scientific description of 1782 Bloch writes:

“This fish is found in Churmark , Pomerania , Silesia , Prussia and several other countries; because even the older ichthyologists: as Gessner, Schwenkfeld and Willughby mention him, as a different species, and all the more it is to be admired that Artedi, Linnaeus, Gronov and Kramer do not even remember it. "

The gable was already known in Central Europe in the Middle Ages ( Gessner , to whom Bloch refers, lived from 1516 to 1565), but was repeatedly confused with the crucian carp , Carassius carassius .

Brehm , who also equated gable and crucian carp, wrote in 1884:

“The distribution area of ​​the crucian carp extends over Central, Northern and Eastern Europe. It is often found in rivers, ponds and lakes of the Rhine and Danube regions, East and West Prussia, all of Russia and Siberia, prefers stagnant water, namely lakes with marshy banks or so-called dead arms of larger rivers, but also occurs in small ponds, ponds, Pools, swamps and moors are generally able to withstand the most varied and most impure water and to thrive with the dirtiest, mudliest food. "

In addition to the origin data from the first description, the distribution information for the six currently recognized synonym descriptions because they have been diagnosed are available:

Cyprinus var. Minor Walbaum , 1792 : Sweden.
Carassius bucephalus Heckel 1837 : Macedonia, Salonikia.
Cyprinus amarus Koch 1840 : Germany, Regensburg.
Carassius ellipticus Heckel 1848 : no document.
Carassius vulgaris var. Kolenty Dybowski 1877 : Amur region, Siberia.
Carassius auratus gibelio morpha ventrosus Johansen 1945 : Siberian steppe.

In addition, there are modern and current gable evidence from Western and Eastern Europe , from the Estonian Baltic Sea itself, the entire Mediterranean area as well as from East Asia including the offshore islands. According to a theory derived from this, currently prevailing but unproven theory, the gable has its origin in the Amur region and northern China , from where it has opened up almost the entire Eurasian continent, naturally and through human intervention.


Head section

Gables are unspecialized in terms of their habitats and nutrition in the broadest sense of the word. This is the reason for their great success in spreading. The species lives in stagnant and slowly flowing, summer-warm and nutrient-rich waters. Gables have low demands on water quality and tolerate low oxygen concentrations and a salt content of up to 3 PSU. Gables are omnivorous .

Systematics and physiological peculiarities

For all gables that have so far been examined from this area of ​​distribution using the classical method, the clear determination as Carassius gibelio (Bloch 1782) is currently valid . However, the taxonomic status of this species has been the subject of ongoing research for a long time. All gable populations have a fairly uniform appearance, but differ genetically. It is expected in the near future that ichthyologists who work cladistically will use this as an opportunity to divide the gable into several types and even to convert it into a separate genus.

Usually there are two complete sets of chromosomes in each vertebrate cell ; they are diploid . Gables are the only carp fish that can also carry three - triploid - four - tetraploid - or higher polyploid - genetic material. Few habitats have been found in nature in which populations with different degrees of ploidy coexist, which for unknown reasons do not seem to mix. Most of the known stocks as a whole are tri- or higher polyploid. In Germany, the few well-studied populations are usually di- or triploid.

There are populations in which male and female gables grow adult and reproduce sexually. But most gable holdings consist exclusively of females that have the ability to gynogenetic have proliferation. In this case, the penetration of an alien carp fish sperm into the gable is necessary to initiate embryonic development, but the male chromosome set is not incorporated. The gables produced in this way are the identical replication, a clone of the original female. For the gynogenetic female population, this does not in principle simplify reproduction. You have to find alien sex hosts belonging to the cyprinids, recognize their imminent mating and spawn with them at the same time. Nothing is yet known about the very likely hormonal control of this complicated process.

Examined gynogenetic gable stands in Europe have always been tri- or tetraploid. The gables, which have been spreading in brackish water off the Estonian Baltic Sea coast since 1985, reproduce sexually and are diploid. In addition, populations of polyploid females and males, of which gynogenetic reproduction is known, have not yet been studied, but the role of males is not.

Importance to humans

Adult female gables reach an average weight of 2.0 to 2.5 kg. They are poor in bones and have a bland, white meat. In Germany and Austria, gables are therefore not popular fishing fish. Their share of stocking fish is marginal. Where they spread successfully, they inhibit the conservation of the game fish. In commercial ponds and in professional fishing with nets and pots, their share in these countries is still insignificant, but increasing, below ten percent. In contrast, gables, like the whitefish , which are valued lower than the game fish , are important economic fish in the countries of Eastern Europe and East Asia.

There are (are) numerous regional names for the gable. In addition to the best-known, silver crucian carp, also gold or stone crucian carp, half-fish, half-fish, half-fish, carp, humpback, crucian carp, carp and sitter carp and halves. According to the prevailing view at the moment, gables are the ancestral form of the goldfish pet . The ability to reproduce imperfectly enables the stable reproduction of its standardized breeds. Recent studies doubt that the gable is the original type. Only comparative studies of the genome of gable and goldfish will provide final clarity.

natural reserve

Due to its enormous adaptability, the gable is not endangered anywhere. However, its success in spreading is one of the reasons for the rapid decline in natural crucian carp populations, which it is replacing with great success. Wherever it can develop dense populations, it also competes with predatory fish by putting pressure on their spawn and larvae.


  • O. Kraus: International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ed.): International rules for the zoological nomenclature. Adopted by the International Union of Biological Sciences. Official German text. 4th edition. Goecke and Evers, Keltern 2000, ISBN 3-931374-36-X .
  • Ü. Balik, R. Özkök, H. Cubuk, R. Uysal: Investigation of Some Biological Characteristics of the Silver Crucian Carp, Carassius gibelio (Bloch 1782) Population in Lake Egirdir. In: Turk. J. Zool. 28, 2004, pp. 19-28.
  • G. Tsipas, G. Tsiamis, K. Vidalis, K. Bourtzis: Genetic differentiation among Greek lake populations of Carassius gibelio and Cyprinus carpio carpio. In: Genetica. 136 (3), 2009, pp. 491-500.
  • M. Deinhardt (2009): Species information: Giebel Carassius gibelio (BLOCH, 1782). (PDF; 250 kB). In: H. Brunken, C. Brunschön, M. Sperling, M. Winkler: Digital fish species atlas of Germany and Austria. An ichthyological information and communication platform . Hrsg. Gesellschaft für Ichthyologie eV World Wide Web electronic publication.
  • M. Kottelat: European freshwater fishes. In: Biologia. 52 (5), 1997, pp. 1-271.
  • M. Kottelat: Fishes of Mongolia. A check-list of the fishes known to occur in Mongolia with comments on systematics and nomenclature . The World Bank, Washington 2006.
  • M. Kottelat, J. Freyhof: Handbook of European Freshwater Fishes . Publications Kottelat, 2008, ISBN 978-2-8399-0298-4 .
  • P. Banarescu, H.-J. Paepke: The freshwater fishes of Europe. Volume 5: Cyprinidae 2, Part III: Carassius to Cyprinus. Gasterosteidae. Aula-Verlag, Wiebelsheim 2001, ISBN 3-89104-658-8 .
  • NG Bogutskaya, AM Naseka, SV Shedko, ED Vasil'eva, IA Chereshnev: The fishes of the Amur River: updated check-list and zoogeography. In: Ichthyol. Explor. Freshwaters. 19 (4), 2008, pp. 301-366.
  • M. Vetemaa, R. Eschbaum, T. Albert, T. Saat: Distribution, sex ratio and growth of Carassius gibelio (Bloch) in coastal and inland waters of Estonia (north-eastern Baltic Sea). In: Journ. Appl. Ichthyol. 21 (4), 2005, pp. 287-291.

Individual evidence

  1. a b Factsheet on Carassius gibelio (PDF; 125 kB) at Alien species in Swedish seas (, English, accessed on April 2, 2010)
  2. a b c M. Deinhardt: Species information: Giebel Carassius gibelio (BLOCH, 1782).  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 250 kB). In: H. Brunken, C. Brunschön, M. Sperling, M. Winkler: Digital fish species atlas of Germany and Austria. An ichthyological information and communication platform . Published by Gesellschaft für Ichthyologie eV World Wide Web electronic publication, 2009. 2Template: Toter Link /  
  3. Ralf Haberbosch: The fish species crucian carp - a specialist in floodplains. , 2017, Landesfischereiverband Baden-Württemberg eV, ISBN 978-3-937371-17-7 , pp. 14-15. ( Online )
  4. ^ ME Bloch: Economic natural history of fish in Germany. 1782, pp. 71-75, panel XII.
  5. ^ AE Brehm: Brehms Thierleben. General knowledge of the animal kingdom, volume eight, third division: creeping animals, amphibians and fish, volume two: fish. Verlag des Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig 1884, pp. 267–269.
  6. P. Banarescu, H.-J. Paepke: The freshwater fishes of Europe. Volume 5: Cyprinidae 2, Part III: Carassius to Cyprinus. Gasterosteidae. 2001.
  7. M. Kottelat, J. Freyhof: Handbook of European Freshwater Fishes . Publications Kottelat, 2008.
  8. W. Herre, M. Röhrs: Pets - seen from a zoological perspective . Gustav Fischer Verlag, Stuttgart 1990, ISBN 3-8274-0722-2 .
  9. C.-P. Steinle, S. Lechleiter: Goldfish for garden ponds and aquariums . Verlag Eugen Ulmer, Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-8001-7481-2 .
  10. B. Teichfischer: Goldfish all over the world . Tetra Verlag, Berlin 1994, ISBN 3-89745-095-X .
  11. M. Kottelat, J. Freyhof: Handbook of European Freshwater Fishes . Publications Kottelat, 2008.

Web links

Commons : Carassius gibelio  - album with pictures, videos and audio files