The Butterfly Koi genesis began with the wild population of Indonesian long-finned carp. How the original Indonesian type came to be, is the topic of speculation, but it is their particular anatomy that is responsible for the ornamental Butterfly Koi available for sale today.
There is also a debate as to where Butterfly Koi were first bred. Some believe that the Japanese used their Indonesian neighbor’s long-fin carp as a food source as well as means of adding hardiness to the existing koi stock.
Butterfly Koi Origins
It is also documented that the Butterfly Koi have roots in the U.S. Blue Ridge Fish Hatchery recognized the massive potential for an added revenue stream with a new breed of koi that differed from the standard fin koi by crossbreeding traditional koi with the same Indonesian carp. With many different breeders actively trying to develop new koi types, it is feasible that different Butterfly Koi lineages could exist.
Butterfly Koi Appearance
This type of koi is immediately noticeable by the fan-like nature of the finnage. Thanks in large part to the ease with which the two type can interbreed, they are available in almost all of the same color and scale-type variations as standard fin koi. The patterns, however, are slightly different than traditional koi.
They also generally have longer barbells and wider nares (or “pompom nostrils”) and are slightly narrower in body shape. Although slightly smaller than traditional koi, Butterfly Koi are also available in “jumbo” size (available for sale at Next Day Koi), reaching over 17 inches in length.
Butterfly Koi are more popular in the U.S. than most other areas of the world and are sometimes referred to abroad as “American Koi”. Their appearance and increased disease resistance—a byproduct of their “hybrid vigor” (or heterosis)—make them an ideal denizen of any koi pond.