Doitsu koi are a type of koi fish that lacks scales. They are scaleless due to a genetic mutation, fgfr1, that causes a partial to complete loss of scales. There are two main categories of Doitsu koi:
- Kagami koi: lines of scales that run along the back and lateral line of the fish.
- Kawas koi: have either no scales or one line of scales that run along the dorsal fin.
Today, there are many Kagami and Kawas koi varieties. There are many varieties because breeders can crossbreed this scaleless carp with almost any other koi variety.
Doitsu Koi South Africa
There are many koi varieties, and all can be produced with Doitsu scales — even butterfly koi. Doitsu koi are the scaleless equivalent of all other koi varieties. Often the Doitsu koi appear remarkably bright, with very sharp patterns and crisp definitions between their colors. These effects are achieved because the pigments are not blurred by traditional scales lying overtop the colors.
When a koi has Doitsu scalation rather than traditional “all-over” scales, the word Doitsu becomes part of the koi’s variety name as a prefix (e.g., Doitsu Kohaku, Doitsu Yamabuki Ogon, Doitsu Shiro Utsuri).
- Doitsu Bekko
- Doitsu Kawarimono
- Doitsu Kin Gin Rin
- Doitsu Koromo
- Doitsu Kohaku
- Doitsu Kumonryu
- Doitsu Ogon
- Doitsu Sanke
- Doitsu Showa
- Doitsu Shusui
- Doitsu Utsurimono
What to Look For
First, look at the scales. (Yes, you need to evaluate the scales on a scaleless fish!) Look closely at the scales that are present. Uniformity is the key. Look for well-lined-up or symmetrical scales on the dorsal and lateral lines. Scales should be neat, balanced, and orderly. Ideally, there should be no random or misplaced scales. Doitsu scales are sometimes called zipper due to their visual similarity.
Next, assess the colors and patterns on the fish, just as you would with all other varieties, especially if you intend to enter your Doitsu in a koi show. Colors and markings should be well-defined. Look closely at the depth and consistency of each color. Patterns should be interesting and may be judged using the same method as you would traditional scaled koi.
Stronger Immune Systems
As Doitsu koi were bred directly from hardy German mirror carps (scaleless carps), Doitsu tend to have stronger immune systems as they weren’t bred solely from other koi or inbred. Nonetheless, a balanced diet is still essential to their health! To help develop and maintain healthy coloration, colorful Doitsu koi are often fed diets with color enhancers, such as those containing spirulina or krill, as well as those with ample (>30%) protein to aid in proper growth.