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an ancestral fish variety
It is thought that all modern koi varieties descended from a type of fish known as "Magoi." About 160 years ago, two mutant koi types arose from this fish, namely the Konjo and the Narumi Asagi. The Konjo was seen as little more than a food fish, but the colorful Narumi became favored by the Japanese as an ornamental fish, and selective breeding eventually gave rise to the Asagi Koi of today. Selective breeding within the Asagi variety, combined with cross-breeding, then gave rise to all other varieties of koi known today.
Asagi are characterized by a blue, reticulated net pattern on the body, with red or orange accents. The blue color created by the pattern can range in hues from a very dark, almost bluish-gray color to a very light blue. Ideally, the back of an Asagi should be evenly covered in scales that are pale blue at the spot where they enter the skin, but are a darker blue as they grow out. The sharper the definition between these two shades, the more impressive the koi will look.
The red (hi) markings of Asagi are generally orange-red or rust-colored, a color that is darker and more subtle than the bright, vibrant red seen on other varieties. This coloring should only appear on the gill plates, pectoral fins, belly, and tail fin. Red eyes are also desirable.
Ideally, the head of an Asagi should be an even bluish-gray color, with no blemishes or marks, but Asagi with a truly perfect and clear head are quite rare. In young examples, the bones of the skull show through, but this effect disappears as the translucent skin thickens. If there is a lot of head hi forming a hood pattern, the fish is known as a Menkaburi Asagi.
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This page was last updated on 04/11/2017.