These are sometimes called Harlequin or Speckled Goldfishes, and are developed from the Common Goldfish. The Shubunkin has transparent scales that are not shiny, as the fish lacks reflective tissue and has no metallic gleam, so it appears scaleless. This skin condition allows the deeper layers to show through giving a mottled mixture of yellow, red, brown, bright blue, violet, black and white; it is also available in plain colours. The colours should spread into the fins. Some fishes have a greater proportion of blue in their make-up than the normal Shubunkin and are classified as Blue Shubunkins. Shubunkins that resemble the Common Goldfish in shape are known as London Shubunkins; those with a much larger caudal fin with rounded lobes are known as Bristol Shubunkins.
These fishes are hardy and can be left out in the pond to overwinter. They are larger than the Common Goldfish and much faster in their movements, and they should be allowed plenty of space to swim and manoeuvre in the pond. The Shubunkin will become quite tame and may take food from the hand.