If you are new to koi breeding or keeping, the different varieties can be a bit overwhelming to understand and distinguish between.
There are just so many amazing color patterns and koi types that it can be a bit of a whirlwind of knowledge to take in.
One of the most controversial and interesting koi fish has to be the Asagi koi.
Let’s take a look at this variety and see what’s so special about baby Asagi koi and their incredible adult form!
The Original Koi
In most breeding groups, Asagi koi are considered the very first ornamental koi subvariety.
They were the first selectively bred to create specific interesting colorations and were used in crossbreeding to create many of the more colorful, vibrant, and bold subvarieties we see more often in modern koi ponds and breeding facilities.
Despite being such a vital and important piece of the puzzle that is the history of koi breeding, Asagi koi have fallen out of popularity with many koi buyer demographics simply because they can appear plain or uninteresting when compared to the other bold colorations of koi subvarieties like Hohaku or Showa which feature bright reds, whites, and other contrasting colors and clear patternation.
As a controversial subvariety, Asagi koi are either loved or hated depending on the community you are a part of.
For traditional breeders, there is a love for the fish that is almost unrivaled due to its rich history and significance in forming the subvarieties we know and love today.
With other collectors who are not as engrossed in the rich background of the koi fish industry and breeding as a whole, they just appear to be rather plain fish with no real appealing feature, causing them to be overlooked and less desired within the mass market.
Asagi koi are first and foremost distinguished by their coloration and scalation.
Generally, an Asagi koi will have a netting patterned scalation band on their back that starts just behind the base of their head and continues the full length of the body with no breaks or deviations in the pattern.
This often appears to be a pinecone-like style scalation that is very distinctive and pops against the mostly blue body coloration of the fish, meaning that any breaks in the pattern are very visible and count as an imperfection, rendering the fishless valuable.
Asagi are, as a whole, mostly varying shades of blue.
Lighter blues are higher in value and generally more desirable, meaning that deeper hues are less sought after and sometimes outright culled.
The hi is not the typical vibrant and bold red color that is found on most koi fish subvarieties.
Instead, it is a dull, rusty color that is found mostly on the gills and face of the fish but can sometimes be speckled over the body.
It should not be above the lateral line, mainly being concentrated on the belly and fins, but may spread as the fish ages.
Ideally, though, it will never interrupt the blue coloration of the upper lateral area of the fish.
The Special Aspects of Baby Asagi Koi
Baby Asagi Koi have a few very special features to their body composition that makes them a little more interesting and honestly outright worth purchasing young.
Aside from their coloration, these koi also have some interesting quirks that can help indicate their quality later in life, too.
For example, baby Asagi koi actually have visible skulls. The skin on their heads start out as being very thin at birth and gradually thickens as the koi ages into maturity.
Still, for quite some time, you can actually see the skull of your baby Asagi koi fish right through their skin, giving the baby fish a sort of haunting beauty.
Additionally, baby Asagi’s noses can be used to predict the adult quality level of the fish.
If there are no blemishes or flaws on the nose, the head of the fish will generally be free of blemishes and issues, as well, leading to the overall quality and price of the fish being higher once they are mature.
This makes the baby Asagis more desirable and less likely to be culled when the time comes since they have a higher chance of being traditional high-quality Asagi fish.
Types of Asagi Patterns
There are several different sub-groups of Asagi koi.
For starters, the Menkaburi Asagi appears to have a fully red “hood” on its head where the hi is located.
These are valuable fish and very uncommon, especially if they have red eyes and an otherwise unblemished body and fin composition.
Hi Asagi have a lot of red on their bodies, sometimes with the color appearing more vibrant than usual.
Alternatively, Asagi Mizu are koi with a mostly light blue body with almost no or absolutely no red showing in their patterning.
Taki Asagi are koi split in half at the lateral line with a row of white scales, resulting in the top being entirely blue and the bottom being red.
Asagi Konjo are so dark they almost appear to be black in coloration.
Lastly, Asagi Narumi are the light blue and red koi you typically see representing the Asagi subvariety.
Asagi are sometimes called long-finned butterfly koi or other names, as well, in modern classifications, though this varies based on regional terminology.
The Beauty of the Asagi
Though basic in appearance and not as dynamic as some other subvarieties of koi, Asagi koi are still absolutely stunning and worth considering for your pond or water feature.
These koi are gorgeous and add a lot of simple beauty to a given area, keeping things looking clean and fresh due to their light, complimentary coloration working well with a wide range of decor styles and koi subvariety cohabitations.
As a whole, you truly cannot go wrong with these stunning fish and it is an absolute shame that they are often overlooked by modern koi shoppers.
Do yourself a favor and check out these stunning, historic animals!
Photos Of Asagi
At the time of publishing this article I didn’t have any photo’s of Asagi Koi mature or fry. If you have some photos to share please send them through to me. I will be happy to put a credit to you for the photos on the post.