Types of Koi Fish

I have learned a lot about breeding koi and the various types of koi fish from my grandfather. He shared with me his passion and it has since become a passion of mine. In this article, I will share everything you need to know about the different types of koi fish known from around the world.

Various Types of Koi Fish

The main factors that determine koi variety, breed, or classification include:

  • Body confirmation
  • Patterns
  • Colors

Every koi variety features specific identification details.

Having established the basics, let us now delve into the different types of koi fish:

Different Types of Koi Fish


In the Japanese language, Bekko’s literal meaning is ‘tortoise shell.’ Most people confuse Usuri and Bekko.

So, what feature distinguishes these two? Utsuri features a black base with yellow, red, or white-colored markings. Bekko, on the other hand, features a yellow, red, or white-colored base with ‘Sumi’ or black-colored markings.

Bekko’s head does not have any black markings. Some of the variants of Bekko are Ki Bekko, Aka Bekko, and Shiro Bekko. Shiro Bekko is the most popular variant.

Translations of the same are:

  • Yellow body – Ki Bekko
  • Red body – Aka Bekko
  • White body – Shiro Bekko

One of the main characteristic features of Bekko koi fish is the fact that its Sumi markings are spread throughout the red, yellow, and white-colored body.



There is no doubt that the Asagi variety of koi fish is striking dazzling creatures. They feature blue-colored and net-like patterns at the top part of their bodies coupled with a red-orange coloration on the body, gill plates, fins, and belly. As they age, the red color spreads upwards from its bottom.

Hi Asagi is the Asagi koi fish variety whose body tends to red than the normal ones. Taki Asagi is the other Asagi koi variety that is quite popular.

This one features a blue-color net pattern coupled with red coloration and an extra white-colored line of scales. They run between blue and red pigmented areas of the koi’s body.

When it comes to its head, it is normally clear devoid of any markings. It can be pale blue or white.


Of great importance to note is that Shusui is among the different versions of Asagi koi. The only difference is that Shusui is more of the Doitsu variety. In other words, it is Asagi’s scale-less version.

The fact that it does not have scales at the top area of the body means that it lacks the blue-colored net-like pattern.

The scales which appear tend to form one row along the body’s dorsal line.

Shusui’s head is white or pale blue in terms of color. It does not feature any spots or markings.

The Shusui’s koi breed does not feature any spots or markings. Another common occurrence is the presence of extended and red-colored cheeks.

No specifications exist regarding the body’s marking. However, the only notable thing is the presence of one row of scales that runs uniformly and neatly along the ack’s length.


The Koromo variety also goes by the name Goromo. Unquestionably,this stands out as among the most stunning type of koi.

Koromo is a hybrid between the Asagi and Kohaku breed. It brings with it the characteristic colors of Kohaku – red and white – as well as typical Asagi’s net pattern.

The body of this breed is white-colored coupled with a red-orange pattern that appears on the body like a Kohaku. What informs the difference is the net-like and blue-color of the scales on every red-colored scaly patch.

Common variants of the Koromo breed include:

  • Budogoromo – Algoromo features an indigo-blue colored edge on the scales coupled with red-colored patterns.
  • Sumigoromo – Sumigoromo features a black-colored edge on the scales with red-colored patterns.
  • Algorono – This breed has an indigo-blue colored edge on the scales coupled with red-colored patterns.


In the Japanese language, Goshiki translates into five colors. This breed features a solid and white-colored body with body pattern akin to Asagi (black-blue, net pattern across the body’s length).

This trait comes because of breeding Kohaku and Asagi fish.

A red-colored plate emanates from the Kohaku breed. It gets the net-like pattern from the Asagi breed.

The name Goshiki comes about due to the presence of different colors. They include:

  • White (base)
  • Blue and black (net-like pattern)
  • Red-orange (hi-plate)

As Goshiki becomes old, its red hi plate not only becomes dense but also thick. Its appearance resembles an external sticker over the koi’s fish body.

In addition to this, the net-like pattern disappears. The only thing that remains across the entire body is its thick red-colored plate.

If you take care of this koi breed the right way, and colors develop correctly, its stunning appearance will certainly amaze you.


Utsuri Mono

The Utsuri Mono koi type shares the same lineage as Showa Sanshoku. This variety, just the many we have featured in this article is defined by its color.

This black-based koi comes in three versions. Each of them features an additional color.

The three varieties include:

  • Ki Utsuri (yellow)
  • Hi Utsuri (red)
  • Shiro Utsuri (white)

Just like Showa, the dynamic black pattern is stunning in all three varieties. Among the various versions, Ki Utsuri stands out as the oldest.



The Kikokuryu is a breed between Platinum and Komonryu koi varieties. Essentially, it is metallic Kumonryu, which is a koi that features shiny platinum fin and skins coupled with deep Sumi color across the entire body.

Its lustrous shine is not only more noticeable but also more fascinating compared to the Kumonryu.

However, while that is the case, just like the Kumonryu, this breed changes its colors throughout the year. This is among the most impressive attributes of this fish variety in addition to its prominent metallic shine.

Often, Kikokuryu is silver coupled with black markings. However, the dark colors tend to spread or change to hints of blue.

The color transformation might be because of water temperature and lighting.

While the Platinum’s shine tends to be inversely proportioned to the dark Sumi’s strength, Sumi’s genetic powers are stronger. Kikokuryu shines deeply through the dark colors across its body, fins, and head.


Mr. Sawada Aoki was the maiden producer of this breed in 1947. Over the years, several breeders have made some tweaks and managed to produced different Hikarimono by using Ogon as the main breed.

In the Japanese language, Ogon means Gold. This breed is part of the Hikari Muji group.

When it comes to appearance, Ogon features a solid metallic look. Its color ranges from gold to silver.

Inside the pond, ogon shines beautifully. This bright metallic koi does not have any blemishes. It features patterns of scales.



This variety is widely considered to be the most prominent of all varieties of koi fish. It was the first to be developed with two colors.

It is a favorite variety for many people with koi aquariums or ponds.

The Kohaku has a white body color (shiroji). It features beautiful red blotches that create a stunning and unique look.

The red blotches on the Kohaku are traditionally known as ‘Hi.’

Most Kohaku fish noses are yellow. Two Kohaku varieties exist:

Red Kohaku with Purple Tint

The color blotches on this variety are a bit thick. As the fish ages, they become less prominent because they fade.

Its colors are easy to maintain. This fact informs the reason this variety is a darling of inexperienced Koi fish enthusiasts.

Kohaku with Orange-Red

This breed is the more popular of the two. The orange-red blotches are harder to maintain.

The margins between the white and the red are quite visible. The more seasoned koi fish owners prefer this variety.

Most Kohaku fish foreheads have a red mark that is different from the rest of the body. Some have markings that extend all the way to the head. They are known as ‘Bongiri.’

Whichever type you prefer, there is no doubt that Kohaku is a great addition to any koi pond or aquarium.


Taisho Sanke

These varieties are also known as Taisho Sanshoku or just as Sanke.

The term Sanshoku refers to three colors. White, red, and black are the prevalent colors.

It has similarities with the Kohaku koi because of their white bodies.

They have one difference with the Kohaku and that is the presence of black markings on its body. In the koi world, the Taisho Sanke is considered one of the big three.

The Taisho Sanke’s head is marked with two colors. While it has no Sumi markings, it features colors white and red.

The other disparity between the Taisho Sanke and the Kohaku is the markings on the Sanke’s head. They begin at the top of the head so its face is devoid of any markings.

It has a few Sumi markings on its pectoral fins but the base is white.


This variety is also referred to as the Showa Sanshoku or simply as Showa Sanke. Showa is very similar to Sanke. As Sanshoku means three colors this variety also has three colors prevalent on its body which is white, red, and black.

Karasu (black colored body) in the Showa is the main difference between the two varieties. The Showa variety has red and white markings on its black colored body.

Contrary to the Sanke, Showa’s black pattern runs all over their bodies. The Sanke’s black pattern is only on the top part of their bodies.

However, the Showa heads have a black pattern which is different from the Sanke.

They have clear margins between the black, red, and white colors which are evenly distributed on their bodies.


This variety is named after the Japanese national bird. The Tancho crane, the bird in question has a red spot on its head. It is a simply sleek fish hat is known for its prominent red marking on its head.

The most beautiful Kancho is the Tancho Kohaku. It has a red spot on its head but has an entirely snow-white body. The red spot can be in a variety of different symmetrical shapes but is mostly in a round shape.

To identify as a Tancho the red spot must be symmetrically shaped. It can be in the following shapes:

  • Oval
  • Circular
  • Heart-shaped
  • Diamond-shaped

The most prominent koi characteristic is its one red-colored spot that is both dominating and prominent. The other Koi fish varieties are,

  • Tancho Showa
  • Tancho Sanke


It is not just one type of fish but it is a category. The category is known as Utsurimono which means reflection. They can be confused with Bekko fish. This variety comprises of,

  • Ki utsuri
  • Shiro utsuri
  • Hi utsuri

The fish that fall under the Utsuri category must have the following characteristics,

  • Red (Hi)
  • Black colored body (Karasu)
  • White (shiroji)
  • Yellow (ki)

It has been named Utsurimo because of the reflection of the red, yellow, or white colors that are prevalent on the bodies of this variety.

The Utsuri koi fish have a Sumi pattern on its head that mimics that of the Showa. Its face is divided by that Sumi mark. The rest of the markings on its body are also like those of the showa.

A huge Sumi reflective pattern is also present on the rest of its body. Just below the lateral line is the sumi that seems to wrap itself around the fish. The lateral lines run from its nose to its tail and are balanced throughout its entire body.


Hikari Moyo

Ogon, kin, and Matsuba are single-colored fish that are in the Hikari Muji category. All the metallic (Hikari) colored fish that have more than two colors fall under the Hikari Moyo category. Most of the fish under this category are due to breeding between the Hikari mono koi fish.

This variety of fish is incredibly beautiful. They have shimmering skin incredible patterns of color that are amazing to look at.

Below are the varieties that fall under the Hikari Moyo category,

  • Hariwake – It is a white body-colored koi fish with yellow and white markings that are like those of the kohaki koi fish.
  • Yamatanosiki – It is a Sanke koi fish that is of a metallic variety.
  • Sukura ogon – It is a Kohaku koi fish of a metallic version.
  • Kujaku – The word kujaku means a peacock. It is a metallic Kohaku koi fish that has a matsuba pattern.

There are other numerous fewer common fish like the kin gin rin, Hikari, Utsuri, etc.

Koi fish are very popular because of their colors and patterns which are useful for their decorative purposes. They are simple but are very elegant fish that you can find in fish gardens, aquariums, and ponds.


Hikari Muji

This variety is single-colored with shiny skin. Hikari means metallic or shiny. They were the first to be retailed from fish tanks because of their incredible beauty. Since they do not have patterns on their bodies, they are shinier.

Below are some varieties of the Hikari Muji:

  • Gin matsuba – It is a kin matsuba that is silver-colored.
  • Orenji ogon – It is a koi fish that is deep orange.
  • Yamabuki ogon – It is a metallic colored yellow-colored koi fish.
  • Aka matsuba – It has red scales with black in the middle. They have a pinecone effect.
  • Kin matsuba – Its pattern is like aka matsuba. It is metallic-looking but with yellow gold color.


It is a big sized fish that is also known as kawarigoi. They have been bred in small numbers. Their originality and their unconventionality are their major source of appreciation.

The rarer the type the higher their value. The most popular fish in this category are,

  • Ochiba shigure – Its name refers to leaves that have fallen. It has a blue-gray body that is similar in pattern to the Kohaku. Its pattern is comparable to fallen leaves in autumn over water.
  • Hajiro – It has a black body (Sumi). It also has (Shiroji) white colored tips on both its tail and its fins.
  • Hageshiro – Its characteristics are like those of Hajiro.it has a white colored face but with no white-colored tips on its tail or fins.
  • Kumonryu – It is also called the dragonfish. It is a koi fish that has a pattern that changes seasonally. It has a Sumi Doitsu body with white markings on its whole body and head.

Some of the single colored Kawamoto varieties consist of:

  • Shiro Muji (white-colored)
  • Chagoi (brown colored, green-brown)
  • Soragoi (blue-gray)
  • Midorigoi (green colored)
  • Benigoi (dark red)
  • Kigoi (yellow colored)

Ai Goromo

This is one of the best decorated and colored koi fish. It resembles the Kohaku ornamental Koi.

The AI stands for Indigo while Goromo stands for clothes. So, Ai Goromo is Koi wearing Indigo clothes.

The interest comes with the colors. The pattern is just like the one of Kohaku.

The difference is the dark shading on the Hi. It also has a red maruten spot. This is close to the head.

You should be able to differentiate them from the Goshiki. Ai Goromo has a shaded Hi pattern on a white background.

Goshiki has the exact opposite.

That is A Hi pattern on a shaded white background.

Aka Matsuba

This variety belongs to the Asagi lineage. Asagi lineage produced the Gunjo Asagi.

Aka Matsuba belongs to the Gunjo Asagi family. The Gunjo Asagi has a body of clear Indigo blue. This variety grows big.

However, Aka Matsuba is a non-metallic red Koi. It has dark pinecone scales.

The scales are arranged in interlacing lines. The pattern resembles a net.

A good Aka Matsuba should have a pattern all over the body. It should also be equally distributed.

They also have dark pigments on the scales. Mostly, it is regarded as a single-color Koi.

Aya Wakaba

This name comes from two different Japanese names. Aya means beautiful. Wakaba means young leaf.

Aya Wakaba means beautiful young leaf. This variety simply showcases a pattern of colors.

It is quite hard to define the real color. A close look at them can help.

They depict a yellow flat color from far. Looking closely, they also have a sheen of green color. The green lays over the yellow or sometimes blue color.

They are regarded as pretty. They have a much clear yellow color when young.

Sometimes the color tends to fade as they grow old.


Beni in Japanese is used to mean red color. The red color might either be carthamin or safflower. This color is used on the Gosanke varieties of the Koi species.

These are; Kohaku, Sanke, and Showa.

The basic concept of this is the color red. This means that the Koi has a single color red.

It is quite hard to tell the exact pattern color red is.

Beni Koi fish sometimes comes in various varieties. Some of these include; Beni Kumunryu, Beni Ginga, and Beni Kikokuryu.

The difference falls on the pattern of the red pigmentation. Sometimes they look alike with minor differences.

Beni Ginga

This breed is regarded as new. It brings the Beni red color in bits. It has a beautiful body structure.

The body combines the red color with faded dark scales.

The red color is distributed on the back. This color is not evenly displayed.

It looks like random patches of clear red that be spotted from a distance. The red color does not form any pattern.

It is stunning with their pattern and color. The red color has a bigger patch towards the head.

It seems to reduce the patch size as you move towards the tail. The light-dark scales compliment the pattern.


Another name for this Koi is Aka Muji. This variety originates from the Kohaku lineage. They are identified with their color.

This color can either be red or orange. The color is non-metallic and solid.

A good Benigoi is one that has a solid Hi. Sometimes their fins vary in color.

They might be all red or orange. Others might have white-tipped fins.

Aka Hajiro is another name for this Koi. This name depends on the color of the fin.

It can be used on the white-tipped fin Benigoi. Kohaku breed is known for its ornamental value.


It is mostly referred to as Ochiba. It comes with varieties. This includes; gin Rin Ochiba and Doitsu Ochiba.

The Japanese have nicknamed it. This due to the lovely dark deep color pattern.

It was given the name, autumn leaves falling on water. This is due to the amazing pattern.

The pattern comprises of bronze and silver colors.

It combines the brown bronze color and the grey silver color. This is a rare combination.

It can only be found in different Koi. That is the Chagoi bronze and the Soragoi silver.

Budo Goromo

Budo in Japanese means grape. Goromo means clothes. So, Budo Goromo simply means grape clothes.

This name gives it a unique color pattern. The shading completely covers the Hi.

It creates a very wonderful purple color. It is a white non-metallic Koi. The red pattern also compliments it.

It is similar to Kohaku. There is a sumi pigment cover.

This cover falls on top of the red pattern. This brings out a good purple color. Sometimes it looks like maroon.

There are three types of Goromo. Budo Goromo is one of the three subtypes.


Butterfly Koi are thin and skinny in size. They cross between carps and natural Koi.

They have a long size. Behaves like the traditional Koi. They also have amazing different colors.

Butterfly Koi have long fins behind them. The fins tend to grow with time.

This is unlike most other Koi. These fins are the most attractive feature.

Their movement with the long fins in water is attractive. The beauty lies in the night movement.

The fins being large attracts the lights. They reflect the lights and appear amazing. This has given them a nickname “angels in the water”.

They are unique, special, and different. They seem to have a more aesthetic value than most Koi.

Chagoi Doitsu

Chagoi Doistu comes from the famous Doistu variety. This variety is known to be German.

They are scale-less. Certain Doistu types have scales. This is along lateral or dorsal lines.

They are uniform in color. They have nonmetallic brown color in common.

We have some distinct copper, orange, and green color. The size varies most times. They can grow very large at times.

Due to their ability to grow, they need feeding. This makes them very friendly.

It also makes it easy to tame. They are adaptive to hand feeding.


This is a variety of the Kohaku Koi. The Japanese love the Tancho. They can refer to them as Tancho Kohaku.

They are valued like the crown crane. It is unique due to the red spot.

It appears on top of the head. It is the only single spot on the head. The spot has symmetry on the head.

This is the only way to determine quality. The red spot looks attractive.

It is the point of attraction on the Koi. Tancho has many varieties that include; gin Rin Tancho and Doitsu Tancho.

Doitsu Benigoi

This is a crossbreed of the Benigoi and Doitsu. Doitsu is scaleless and big. Benigoi originates from the Kohaku breed.

This combination brings out the best Koi that is unique. It has an even color all over the body.

The tail seems to differ a little bit. The tail acquires the color as it grows older. It has a moderate fish like body size.

The color is monochromatic. They vary in color – two colors. This characteristic is familiar to the Benigoi.

The most common colors are red and orange.

Doitsu Bekko

This is another subtype of the Doitsu-Bekko combination. The Bekko is known for its solid color.

The Bekko has black spots on the body. Always white, red, or yellow.

Doitsu Bekko is completely scaleless. It might have very little scales. This is found on either side of the dorsal fin.

The Bekko colors combined with the Doitsu is excellent.

This gives us a more refined Koi. The image of Kol that no or fewer scales. The color comes out perfect in water.

It is an amazing scenery to watch.


This is regarded as a scaled version of the Kikokuryu. It has a close relation to the Kumunryu.

It is also metallic and differs from the Kikokuryu because of the scales

This is a black scaled Koi. This metallic Koi changes color.

The color change is black to black with white in it. The white and black pattern is beautiful. The fins can display white color on edges.

It is a calm kind of Kol. The white-edged fins can be attractive in water.

It is a friendly Kol that attracts human interaction. It likes to be handled and attended to.

Gin Rin

The name touches more on the scale type. The Kol is classified according to scale type.

The scale types include; diamond Gin Rin, beta Gin Rin, pearl gin Rin, and the Kado gin.

This group varies in color. The most common is the golden scaled.

This covers the entire body. They are different from the metallic ones. They also differ from the platinum scaled ones.

These Koi have reflective scales. They are also very shiny. A simple strike by light illuminates the Kol.

It is an attractive view. The gin Rin scales transforms an ordinary Kol into beauty.

Hi Showa

Hi in Japanese means sharp red patches. Showa is a black Koi in Japanese. The Showa is a crossbreed between Kohaku and Shiro Utsuri Koi.

The Hi Showa Is among the big Gosanke variety.

In color, this is black Koi. The black is complimented with white and red.

These white and red colors are in the form of markings. Most of the body above is covered in red.

The Hi Showa is a very beautiful Kol. The wide range of markings brings out a nice display.

The most outstanding feature is the color display. It is the right Kol for beauty and display.


In Japan, this is a term used to describe a duck. The relevance comes in with the white color.

The white patches on the wings give it that name. The same approach works with the Koi.

This Kol is black. It has white colors on the tips of the fins. The tail fins also have a white color.

The black deep color is an outstanding feature. The nice body layout is also attractive.

Sometimes you might find a slightly different Kol. A red-colored Kol with white tips of the fin is called Aka Hajiro.

Hajiro is a good Kol for people who love them. It is almost similar to the Hageshiro.


As the name suggests, it is a Kol focused on patterns. It is slightly compared to Kohaku. It is often categorized in the Hikari Moyo.

This should be known to be a metallic scale Kol.

They bring out a flashy pattern in color. The display is spaced evenly on the body. It is also artistic.

The pattern is not symmetric on the body. This brings the similarity to the Kohaku.

The body has white which is clear. There are other colors like red. Some have orange and yellow too.

These colors look attractive to the body. The pattern of the colors is vibrant and clear.

The pattern comes down to the forehead. Sometimes it follows to the face. This is below the eyes and covers the nose.

Body conformation is also top-notch.


Higoi is a Japanese name meaning red carp. The Higoi is very similar to the Benigoi. The slight difference has been so hard to establish.

Only a keen breeder would establish the difference.

The difference lies in the color. The Higoi has a very simple red color.

The Benigoi has a deep enhanced red color. The Higoi being light in color contrasts slightly with the other Benigoi features.

It is good for those people who do not like deep red. A slightly light red might be attractive.

This Koi can form part of your ornaments for your display.


This variety has so many names in subtypes. The Hirenaga has long fins. The Onaga has a long tail. The Tenaga has a long arm.

The Hagoromo is a Japanese word. It means, the celestial robe of an angel.

This is a crossbreed of an Indonesian carp and a Japanese Koi. Most of the popularity is in the U.S. the Koi is known for its longfin.

The fin also has a wonderful shape. It also has the beauty many admire.

The longevity of the fin makes it easy to tear. It is also very easy to split. They are called the butterflies of water.

The flowing fins enable it to fly in the water. It is long and slender in shape.

Hi Utsuri

The Hi tells the presence of deep red. But when we discuss the Utsuri, sumi comes in mind. Utsuri has various subtypes.

A white one is called Shiro Utsuri. A yellow one is called Ki Utsuri.

The red one is called Hi Utsuri. These are like Showa. Hi Utsuri posses the red color pattern.

Most of them have nice body balance. This balance plays between red and black. A unique balance is amazing.

They look good when healthy. The striped pectoral fins do not show Motoguro. Motoguro is the black base.

Hi Utsuri is the product of Showa Sanshoku breeding.


Kanoko is meant to mean fawn. This is brought about by the dotting of the scales. When Shiroji scales are Hi dotted they appear like a fawn.

Kanoko has also had a vast species around.

Any Koi that follows that has that is Kanoko. This happens to the non-metallic Koi with hi.

The Kanoko name happens purely with the color.

Sometimes Koi lose their red color. This makes them become Kanoko. Although, they remain stable.

A real Kanoko is a stable red. It is however small and the dots pass with age.


This is one of the Muji variety species. Muji means pain in Japanese. This is supposed to reflect to the single color of Koi.

There are many subtypes of the Muji variety and Karashi is one of them.

Karashi has is made of yellow color. This makes the most popular of them all.

 It is also easily available.

They are friendly. They also grow very quickly. They know how to feed well.

Karashi has a very high demand. Karashi was a crossbreed of Kigoi and Chagoi.


This is another variety of Muji. It looks similar to the Karashi. There are slight differences between them.

In Japan, Kigoi has been related to Karashi.

The yellow color is worn by both. The colors are slightly different. It is important to ask the breeders for assistance.

You might find that other breeders do not know the difference.

Kigoi was the origin and Karashi came out its crossbreed. Kigoi grows slowly compared to Karashi.

Kigoi might have white fins sometimes.


This is an ancient Koi. It is said to either be Wagoi or Doitsu. They can either have scales or have no scales respectively.

It is mainly found in Japan.

The name originates from the black color. The Koi can be fully black. It can also show different colors according to the area.

It might show red, yellow, or black.

Although, it keeps the black color. The Japanese are in love with black Kol. They say it is has a lot of positive coronation.

It is regarded to be playful. This showcase is a good view.


This is the same species as the Karasu. It Shares the same features as the Karasu. It is an ancient Koi that breeds in deep ponds.

Sometimes it’s hard to locate it in deep waters.

These are solidly black. They share no other color.

They are best on display if they have a dark color. It is often not easy to realize a scar with black.

It was named because of the love from the Japanese.

Karasugoi simply means a black crow. This is seen as the praise on the black Koi.

In addition to being peaceful, feeding and maintaining this koi fish variety


This is a Hariwake variety of Koi. This means that it has a pattern like a feature. Hariwake Koi are known for their colors.

Their patterns are attractive.

Kikusui is scaleless. They have no scales at all.

This is very different from the Hariwake. Hariwake has scales.

They are made of nice patterns of red and white.

Their nice sharp body edges are attractive. They have white skin. It blends well with the red patches.

The qualities are like the Kohaku.


This is a crossbreed variety. It lies between Soragoi and Chagoi. It is believed to show a certain pattern.

It can take the style of the Kohaku. Sometimes it referred to as Ochiba Shigure.

The pattern of the color has a resemblance. It resembles fall leaves on water.

It has a larger scale skin. This is larger than most Kol.

The pattern color differs. It can be blue in color, grey or copper.

It can also take the yellow color. The lovely colors are due to interbreeding.

Showa Sanshoku

They are mostly known as Showa. They can be related to Sanke.

The varieties include; Tancho Showa, Gin Rin Showa, and kin Showa.

They have white and orange patterns. This can also be accompanied by red.

This pattern runs on top of the black base color. The black one covers all the body.

The black patterns also appear on the head. Something different from Sanke.

The other colors are balanced on the body.

Shiro Utsuri

This variety is related to gin Rin Shiro Utsuri. It is also close to gin Shiro Utsuri and Doitsu Shiro Utsuri.

This species also combines color for patterns.

They have a black base covered with water patches. It combines these white patches with black.

The black is deep and brings out the pattern well with white.

The specimen of the breeding should be well monitored.

The pattern looks better with it on the head. That is a symbol of a good specimen.

If you are looking for one of the best and easiest koi fish varieties to keep, then you should consider this one.

Shiro Utsuri Tanke

These koi are extremely close to the Shiro Bekka. They are black.

They have white markings on the body. Some of them are generally white.

They also have wide black stripes. These stripes ate band like and expensive.

They appear large and sometimes join. The joins can form a pattern that is connected in nature.

The black bands revolve around the koi. This means they appear on the sides.

This can go up to the belly in terms of patterns.

The Shiro Utsuri Tanke has black coverings on the head. This pattern can divide the face into two.

You can easily identify them with this facial pattern. This is if it goes from the face to the body.

They have Motogoro. These are black coverings on the joints of the pictorial fins.

These are followed by stripes in the dorsal fins.

Shiro Bekko

They are white. They are complemented with black markings on the body. The difference between them with Shiro Utsuri is minimal.

The body color is white while the other one is black.

They have black spots on the body. These spots are separate from each other.

The spots are also spotted on the top of the body. They are not scattered on the whole body.

The face or head has no spots. The face has the same color as the body.

They have white pectoral fins. At times, you might find ones with black stripes.

Lemon Hariwake

They are among the most common koi around. They are available because of the simple breeding.

They can be compared to Kohaku. The slight difference is in the shimmery base of the Hariwake.

They have a shimmery background. This is a metallic orange pattern like base.

The pattern of this koi looks similar to the Kohaku. They have no dark spots on these koi.

The bright patterns are also not near the eyes. They have evenly distributed patterns.

These patterns are orange or yellow. They are not always symmetrical.

When they have no scales they are called Kikusui. As long they have the orange or red color patterns.

When it is yellow then it is called Doitsu lemon Hariwake.

Platinum Ogon

This is also referred to as the Purachina Ogon. They relate to Gin Rin Platinum Ogon and the Doitsu platinum Ogon.

They are metallic. They are also made of solid structures. Most of them are white.

The head is also clear white. The body is spotless and also clear white.

The quality of these koi depends on its clarity in color.

The white fins also spread and accompany the great body. They belong to the Hikari Muji category.

The other varieties in this class include the following; Yamabuki Ogon which is yellow, Orenji Ogon which is orange, and Kin Matsuba which is orange with scales.

Yamato Nishiki

These are closely related to the Sanke. They differ because the Yamato Nishiki is metallic.

They have similar patterns with the Sanke. The breed is arrived at through breeding.

The combination of Sanke and platinum Ogon will give you this breed. This produces the most beautiful koi.

They are very clean. They have a white base color. The white base color resembles the Platinum Ogon.

They are snow white and metallic. The pattern is exactly like the Sanke.


This is an Ogon variety. It is metallic. It resembles the Asagi in the pattern. The net-like pattern on the back can relate to the Asagi.

The back pattern is composed of different colors. Orange, gold, yellow, or red compliments this pattern.

The pattern resembles that of the Kohaku. It creates a perfect striking effect.

They are crossbreeds of the Goshiki and Hikarimuji. They are also known as Kujaku Ogon. This means peacock in English.


There are koi that are not classified at all. Such koi are put under the Kawarimono class. The ability to keep originality is important. They are non-metallic.

There are only two of these metallic groups. These are the Kumunryu and the Kikokuryu.

Many of them have scales similar to Doitsu. They also have the gin Rin scales.

They are regarded to be very rare Kol. We have several examples of these species; Kigoi, Chagoi, Karasugoi, and Beni Kikokuryu.

They are also referred to as Kawarigoi.

Hikari Muji

They are koi with shiny bodies. The lack of any marks makes them unique. They are categorized here because they lack any marks.

They are classified into various groups. These groups compose; the platinum Ogon which has a shinny platinum color, the Yamabuki Ogon with a yellow metallic sheen on the body.

Others include; Orange Ogon with an orange sheen, kin Matsuba, and gin Matsuba. The lack of markings makes then have a better-confined body.

Tancho Kohaku

The Kohaku is known for its solid white base. The most unique feature is the red mark on the head. This mark stands alone.

No other mark overshadows it.

When it comes to breeding, most people use this breed.

The specimen is known to give good results. It is often taken by hobbyists for research.

Their oval and heart-shaped body are attractive. It is becoming very popular in Kol.

They are available in two varieties. These are; The Gin Rin and the Doitsu.

Ochiba Shigure

This Kol combines two distinct Kol. They combine the Chagoi and the Soragoi.

This comes out in terms of color. The two-color combinations are grey and brown.

The best way to know a good one is through the pattern. The quality will match the pattern.

They are perfectly similar to the Kohaku. They share the same pattern in color.

They grow longer with time. This is a good quality of nay Kol. Longevity is a quality symbol in Kol.

They are said to be very calm and relaxed. They are also easy to hand feed.


These are Kol made of gold and silver scales. They resemble the Hikari species slightly. The Kinginrin is just not metallic, the scales are sparkle.

The sparkle reflects just like glass. They display attractive sparkles.

The refection looks like that of gold and silver.

Kinrin variety only offers gold sparkles. The Ginrin on the other hand offers silver sparkles.

When you breed other koi with Kinginrin species, you can achieve such a specimen.

Final Words

Trying to keep tabs with the different variations and varieties of koi can make one’s head spin. To make your identification process effortless, I decided to come up with this comprehensive list of the different types of koi.

This is based on the knowledge I have gathered through research and working with my grandfather who is an experienced and savvy koi breeder.

Do you feel that there is a breed or type that I did not feature in this article? Please let me know in the comments section below.

Affiliate Notice

PetsOfWater.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.