Difference between Diploid and Triploid Grass Carp

Grass Carp

Ctenopharyngodon idella, commonly known as grass carp, are freshwater fishes that are native to the rivers of Eastern Asia and Russia. The classification of the fish is as follows:

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Cypriniformes

Family: Cyprinidae

Genus: Ctenopharyngodon

Species:C. idella

The defining characteristics of the grass carps are as follows:

  • They are long and elongated with a rounded abdomen and a flat head
  • The eyes are small and located lowly on the head
  • The mouth is terminal
  • They have large scales with dark edges, although their head is scaleless
  • It is mostly dark grey, silver, olive and brown in colour
  • They have dorsal and anal fins
  • They do not have barbels

The grass carps are introduced in water bodies to control the aquatic vegetation. It has been introduced in various countries for aquaculture. It is also cultured in China for eating purposes. However, introduction of the grass craps can be invasive and can sometimes lead to total removal of vegetation from the water body. This problem was solved by introducing triploid sterile grass carps.

The grass carps feed on the aquatic vegetation, and hence are herbivorous in nature. The grass carps provide a better aerated and sunlit water surface for better habitation by eating the vegetation. In the U.S., black, grass, bighead and silver carps are together known as Asian carps. They were introduced in the 1970s to control algal bloom. However, the fishes escaped confinement, and now are competing with the native fishes for food and nutrition in the Mississippi river basin and other large water bodies.

Diploid Grass Carp

The diploid grass carp are the fishes that have two sets of chromosomes and can reproduce. However, they started invading the water bodies and competing against the native fishes for food and nutrition. That is why the triploid grass carps were introduced.

Triploid Grass Carp

The triploid grass carps are the fishes that have three sets of chromosomes and cannot reproduce; they are sterile. They are an inexpensive way to control the aquatic vegetation across many countries.

Diploid vs Triploid Grass Carp

Diploid Grass Carp

Triploid Grass Carp

Number of Chromosomes

They have two sets of chromosomes.

They have three sets of chromosomes.


They are reproductive in nature.

They are sterile.


They were used to control aquatic vegetation, but they invaded the water body and became extremely competitive.

They are used by various countries such as New Zealand, Germany, Netherlands and USA for controlling aquatic vegetation.

Explore BYJU’S Biology for more information.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Difference between Diploid and Triploid Grass Carp


What is the difference between diploid and triploid?

A cell containing two sets of chromosomes is referred to as diploid, and a cell containing three sets of chromosomes is referred to as triploid.


What plants do triploid grass carp eat?

Triploid grass carps usually consume submerged vegetation that has soft, non-fibrous leaves and stems.


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