What Are Butterfly Koi?
Butterfly koi are sometimes considered the 'poor cousins' to the standard koi fish popularly found in ornamental ponds. Butterfly koi are koi fish that sport long, 'butterfly' fins. Purist koi breeders feel that the fins are an eyesore and do not encourage the keeping or breeding of butterfly koi. These beautiful fish are often looked upon with disdain at koi shows mainly because they do not conform to the breed standard of typical koi fish.
Butterfly koi were developed by breeding ordinary koi with a kind of carp that is commonly found in Indonesia. Hatcheries in the United States are experts in the art of breeding butterfly koi and the fish is now available as a regular koi variety.
*photo courtesy of Simi-Koi
Butterfly Koi, like other American koi, tend to be stronger and less susceptible to stress than koi from other countries. This could be due to the fact that they have not been shipped across the world and exposed to stress and disease.
Despite the views of many koi purists, butterfly koi are very popular with many koi enthusiasts and often outsell standard koi varieties. The smaller koi are usually kept in larger, indoor ponds or aquariums so that their markings can really be appreciated - something which is impossible to do with larger koi fish.
There are several varieties of butterfly koi for example Sanke, Kohaku and Matsubas or Platinum Ogons in solid colors. Koi with Doitsu skin really show off their long, flowing fins very well.
The care and handling of butterfly koi is much the same as that of regular koi varieties and the same illnesses and diseases apply to these koi cousins. It is hoped that in future these koi will be accepted as an equally important and special koi variety.
A great place to buy Butterfly Koi is Simi Koi in California's Simi Valley