Qinghai Lake Naked Carp | Facts, Diet, Habitat & Pictures

Qinghai Lake Naked Carp | Facts, Diet, Habitat & Pictures

Qinghai Lake Naked Carp  Overview


The Qinghai Lake naked carp boasts a streamlined body with a silvery sheen that shimmers under the sunlight. Its scales are noticeably absent, revealing smooth, soft skin, hence its "naked" moniker. This species displays an elegant, elongated shape, perfectly adapted for its aquatic habitat.

Its dorsal fin is set far back on the body, and its mouth is slightly downturned, adapted for feeding near the lake's bottom. Overall, the Qinghai Lake naked carp's appearance is a testament to its adaptation to its unique environment.

Origins And Evolution

The Qinghai Lake carp native to China, has a fascinating evolutionary history dating back millions of years. Fossil records suggest that it originated during the late Pliocene epoch, around 3 million years ago. This species belongs to the Cyprinidae family, which includes a diverse array of carp-like fishes.

Over time, it adapted to the harsh and high-altitude conditions of Qinghai Lake, developing unique features such as the absence of scales, an adaptation likely driven by the lake's cold temperatures and high salinity.

Behavior and Lifestyle

The Qinghai Lake carp is known for its sedate and solitary lifestyle. These carp prefer the colder, deeper waters of Qinghai Lake, where they feed on benthic algae and detritus. They tend to avoid shallow areas and stay close to the lake bottom. They are relatively calm and slow-moving fish, rarely exhibiting aggressive behaviors.

Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Cypriniformes
  • Family: Cyprinidae
  • Genus: Gymnocypris
  • Species: Gymnocypris przewalskii

Naked Carp Locations

  • Qinghai Lake, China

Fast Facts

  • Name: Naked Carp
  • Scientific Name: Gymnocypris przewalskii
  • Habitat: Qinghai Lake
  • Diet: Aquatic plants
  • Physical Features: Scaled, streamlined
  • Nocturnal: Partially active
  • Solitary: Often solitary
  • Unique Order: Cypriniformes
  • Lifespan: 15-20 years
  • Conservation Status: Near Threatened
  • Fun Facts: High-altitude survivor

Physical Characteristics

  • Color: Silver-blue
  • Skin Type: Scaled exterior
  • Top Speed: Swift swimmer
  • Lifespan: Long-lived
  • Weight: Moderate size
  • Length: Streamlined body
  • Age of Sexual Maturity: Maturing adults
  • Age of Weaning: Early independence


Q: What is the Qinghai Lake naked carp?

Ans: The naked carp is a species of fish native to Qinghai Lake in China.

Q: Why is it called naked carp?

Ans: It's called "naked carp" because it lacks scales on its skin, giving it a smooth appearance.

Q: Where is Qinghai Lake located?

Ans: Qinghai Lake is situated in the northeastern part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China.

Q: What is the primary habitat of the Qinghai Lake naked carp?

Ans: These carp inhabit the cold, deep waters of Qinghai Lake.

Q: What do Qinghai Lake naked carp eat?

Ans: They are primarily herbivores, feeding on benthic algae and detritus.


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