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Ginrin ~ sparkles like diamonds

Ginrin ~ sparkles like diamonds

Wagoi ~ regular scales 

Wagoi ~ regular scales

Doitsu koi

Doitsu ~ scale-less can be either no scales at all and that is referred to "leather" because the skin is smooth like leather with no scales. Doitsu koi have large shiny scales on the body. They can be on the lateral line, along the dorsal fin around the gills and not necessarily in all those places on each fish.

The above photos are "clickable" to see the details of the type of scales.

IBeing male or female also makes a difference in size

In a koi an inch can make a big difference. Being male or female also makes a difference in size.  Females tend to be much longer and weigh more than males.  And a female will have a more rounded body. Look at the 2 photos below.  In the top photo there is only 1/2 inch difference and the 2nd photo there is a full inch difference.  The same male was used in both photos.

The yellow fish is 7 inches and probably male, note the slim body. The orange fish is female and 8 inches and most likely female. Note the fuller rounder body.

The fish near the back of the photo is 7 inches and probably male. Note the slimmer body

The one near the front is 7-1/2 inches and probably female. Note the fuller body

Fins sometimes you can tell the difference in sex by the fins. Study the 2 examples below.
female koi fins

female fins


male fins

If you study the picture above you can see a slight variance in the shape of the fins.  This does take a quite a bit of experience to see the difference in the 2 fin shaped.

Of course there is other ways to tell too.

Females have two openings if you turn them upside down and look carefully.  The 2nd vent (slit) is not seen on immature koi (breeding age).
Female koi have 2 "slits"

If you look closely at the photo on the left you will see what appears to be two "slits". Only females have this.

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