Ctenopharyngodon and idella are both Greek words, meaning "comb-like throat-teeth" and "distinct" respectively. The grass carp is one of the largest members of the minnow family. The body is oblong with moderately large scales, while the head has no scales. There are three simple and seven branched rays on the dorsal fin. Grass carp are silvery to olive in colour, lacking the golden hue of common carp, and they have no barbels. This species typically reaches sizes of 65 to 80 pounds in its native habitat, but individuals approaching 400 pounds have been reported.