Koi, or more specifically nishikigoi, are colored varieties of Amur carp (Cyprinus rubrofuscus) that are kept for decorative purposes in outdoor koi ponds or water gardens. Koi is an informal group of the colored variants of C. carpio. Several varieties are recognized by the Japanese. Koi varieties are distinguished by coloration, patterning, and scalation. Some of the major colors are white, black, red, orange, yellow, blue, and cream. The most popular category of koi is the Gosanke, which is made up of the Kohaku, Taisho Sanshoku, and Showa Sanshoku varieties. It is also Japan's national fish.