The Asp is a fish of the Cyprinid family. It is common in Europe (in the basins of the Northern Sea, the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea). It inhabits rivers on flatlands and seldom lakes. Asp avoid standing water. It is a nimble predator, yet it has no teeth, therefore it hunts using an original technique often called “bashing”. Rashly bumping into a shoal of small fish, an asp knocks its prey senseless by a strike of its strong and wide tail. It leaps out of water, spreading the rays of its dorsal and caudal fins and falls back, catching stunned fish. Sometimes asps display cooperative hunting. This species prefers hunting near whitewater and rapids. It feeds mainly on bleak, gudgeon and roach.
Asp has an elongated body, covered with small scales. Its back is blush gray, dorsal and caudal fins are gray, pelvic and anal fins are reddish. The mouth is big, the lower jaw is protruded forward and ends up with a tubercle, that helps the fish to grab and hold its prey. The asp is a large fish, it reaches a length of 80 cm and a weight of more than 10 kg. Its average weight is about 3 to 5 kg.