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Discussion in 'Water Features' started by midtnstone, Sep 28, 2004.
this may sound stupid but is there a way to tell the difference between a male and a female koi
this is an uneducated guess.... but in my pond, there are a few that get chased, and there's the few that do the chasing. as far as just looking at them, i don't know. I remember reading somewhere that the differences are only internal, but i could be wrong.
Female koi have bodies that are more massive. If you put a male next to a female, assuming they're both the same length. The female will have a much thicker body. They look more robust in other words. The males are definitely slimmer in appearance.
I'll see if I can find an article that shows the difference. I saw an article not too long ago that would be good to post in answer to this question. It did a great job of showing them side by side.
The one doing all the yelling is the female koi.
Koi don't reach sexual maturity until they are three years old, so trying to determine sex before that is just guess work.
The females do tend to be larger but this is only a big difference when they are "in season" egg development causes this.
The males chase the females ( somethings never change even in the animal world) but again if not mature they may not do any chasing. Also if you have an aggressive male others may shy from chasing and be mistaken for females.
There are only two sure ways to tell and I don't recommend either unless you are a die-hard-nut for koi. An expensive endoscopy done by a veterinarian (have fun finding a vet that will do it). You can also apply gentle pressure a long the lower abdomen wall with your thumb and fore finger toward the vent and the females will produce eggs when in season.(just like they do at Salmon hatcheries).
I tend to just watch their behavior and guess like everyone else.
thinks for the info
Ummm...Jeremy. That's not true.
You can definitely tell the difference Jeremy. The females are normally stockier than males even when they aren't full of eggs. Females tend to be thicker in the pectoral/gill area of their body thans males are (sometimes females will be on the skinny side and males will be on the fat side, so this isn't always foolproof).
A sure fire way to tell the difference in the spring is to look for breeding tubercles on their gill covers. If you see tubercles, it's a male. If you don't see them, then it's obviously a female. You have to look really carefully to see the tubercles though. Since these tubercles look like little white spots, inexperienced koi keepers often treat their fish for white spot disease unfortunately.
Male koi normally don't display them untill they are around 8 to 9 inches long, or longer. However you will occasionally see them on koi that are a little smaller than this though, but not much. Huge male koi will display their tubercles year round.
To see what they look like, do a yahoo search by typing >>> koi+tubercles.
I value the dedication you have for helping people at this site and the time you donate.
I'm always more than happy to share anything that I've learned over the years with anyone on here. I can sure remember when I was starting out with all of this. There's nothing worse than having half a million questions and not knowing where to go to find the answers to them. If I can help someone from having to go through that, I will. It's the least I can do.
Thanks for the good words though buddy. I do appreciate it.
yup...thats how I found out which ones were female. then the pond gets all bubbly and foamy...and smells fishy too!!! probably more than you'd like to know, sorry!
the females do seem to have a wider body as opposed to the males, atleast mine do.