Goldfish (Carassius auratus)
Learn more about goldfish with a free trial on Britannica.com.
Calico or nacreous goldfish are goldfish of any breed that sport a mixture of metallic and transparent scales that produces a pearly appearance. The name "calico goldfish" is often associated, and sometimes confused, with the shubunkin goldfish.
Although calico coloration occasionally occurs in other fancy goldfish varieties such as telescope eyes, fantails, ryukins, orandas, and ranchus, this nacreous characteristic is exclusive to the shubunkins which are single-tailed fish that are similar to the common goldfish and could grow up to 12 inches in length.