A Shubunkin is a type of single-tailed goldfish with calico coloration, a combination of orange, white, black, red, and blue markings, blue being the most desired. They are similar to the common goldfish and the comet goldfish. Also called speckled goldfish, harlequin goldfish, calico goldfish, and coronation fish, they were developed in Japan about a hundred years ago by crossing calico fantails with single-tailed goldfish to produce a hardy, able swimmer with bright colors.
There are three main types of Shubunkin, the Bristol, which has a very large tail with rounded lobes, the London, which has a short rounded lobe, and the Japanese/American, which has a “normal” comet goldfish tail: deeply forked with long narrow lobes. They are a bit smaller than common comets, growing up to about 5.91 in (15 cm) long. Like other goldfish, they are social, omnivorous, and can thrive in temperatures down to freezing.
The Shubunkin is an extremely hardy fish, which along with the Common goldfish, Comet (goldfish), and Fantail (goldfish) are ideally suited to beginners.