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TAS Angelfish Naming Conventions Part 2 – Phenotype Names. A Presentation for The Angelfish Society by Tamar Stephens. Introduction. This is Part 2 of a 2-part series.

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tas angelfish naming conventions part 2 phenotype names

TAS Angelfish Naming Conventions Part 2 – Phenotype Names

A Presentation for The Angelfish Society


Tamar Stephens

  • This is Part 2 of a 2-part series.
  • Part 1 explained what genetic notation is, and how the TAS genetic notation for angelfish of the species Pterophyllum scalare is structured.
  • Part 2 explains the rules used by the TAS Genetics Calculator to create phenotype names from the genotypes.
vocabulary refresher
Vocabulary refresher
  • Genetic notation – letters used to represent genes and alleles
  • Phenotype - The appearance of an individual, such as smokey or zebra.
  • Genotype - The genes that create a particular phenotype.
what does the genetics calculator do
What does the Genetics Calculator Do?
  • The calculator generates genotypes for any hypothetical crosses using the alleles programmed into the calculator.
  • The calculator generates phenotype names for any genotype for parents and for offspring.
  • This presentation will show you the rules used by the Genetics Calculator to create a phenotype name.
in part 1 we saw how the genetics calculator displays the genotype
In Part 1 we saw how the Genetics Calculator displays the genotype.

You can view Part 1 on the TAS website at:


Or look for it on the “Presentations” page at: http://www.theangelfishsociety.org/PresentationsTAS.htm

phenotype names are based on the following hierarchy
Phenotype names are based on the following hierarchy.
  • 1. albino
  • 2. gold, gold marble, marble
  • 3. streaked
  • 4. zebra, smokey, chocolate, leopard
  • 5. half-black
  • 6. dark descriptions
  • 7. Gm/+
  • 8. ghost, blushing
  • 9. pearlscale
  • 10. veil
  • 11. common names that have stuck
  • 12. exceptions
1 albino a a
If the angelfish has the genotype a/a, it is simply an albino.

For any other genotype that includes a/a, “albino” will list first in the phenotype name.


g/g – a/a  albino gold

Gm/g – a/a  albino gold marble

Sm/+ - a/a  albino smokey

1. Albino (a/a)


2 gold gold marble marble
2. Gold, gold marble, marble

Gold, gold marble, or marble will come next if both alleles at this locus are some combination of M, Gm, or g. (M/M, M/Gm, M/g, Gm/Gm, Gm/g, or g/g)


M/M – a/a  albino marble

Gm/Gm – a/a  albino gold marble

Gm/Gm – +/a  gold marble

M/g – V/+  marble veil

Gold Marble

3 streaked st or st st
3.Streaked - St/+ or St/St.

Streaked comes next if the fish contains St/+ or St/St and has a dark allele (D).

Streaked generally doesn’t show in the phenotype unless a dark allele is present, so only use “streaked” if a dark allele is present.


D/+ – St/+  Streaked black lace

D/g – St/St  Streaked hybrid black

D/D – St/+  Streaked double dark black

Streaked Black Lace

4 smokey sm combinations with or without zebra z
4. Smokey (Sm) combinations with or without Zebra (Z)

Zebra, smokey, chocolate or leopard will come next if the fish is Sm/+, Sm/Sm with or without zebra.


Sm/+  smokey

Sm/+ - a/a  albino smokey

M/+ - Sm/+  smokey marble

Sm/Sm  chocolate

Sm/+ - Z/+  smokey leopard

Sm/Sm – Z/Z  leopard

Sm/Sm – Z/Z - D/+  leopard lace

Z/+ - a/a  albino zebra

Smokey Leopard

5 half black h h
5. Half-black (h/h)

Half-black is added after the previous color mutations.


h/h  half-black

Z/Z – h/h  zebra half-black

Z/Z – h/h – a/a  albino zebra half-black

Zebra Half-Black (in foreground)

6 dark allele d
6. Dark allele (D)

Dark allele descriptions follow half-black

  • Lace for D/+
  • Hybrid black for D/g, D/Gm, and D/M
  • Black (dd) or double dark black for D/D
  • Because half-black lace sounds strange, the lace was placed before the half-black for half-blacks with D/+. Other dark combinations like hybrid black and clown black were placed after the half-black.
6a dark allele d continued
6a. Dark Allele (D) continued

Lace is used for any phenotype with D/+ at the dark locus.


D/+  black lace

D/+ - Sm/+  smokey lace

D/+ - Z/+ - a/a  albino zebra lace

Black lace angelfish

6b dark allele d continued
6b. Dark Allele (D) continued
  • Hybrid black is used for genotypes with D/g, D/Gm, and D/M


D/g - S/+  hybrid black ghost

D/g - Sm/+  smokey hybrid black

D/Gm - h/h  half black hybrid black

6c dark allele d continued
6c. Dark allele (D) continued

Use Black (dd) or double dark black for D/D


D/D – Sm/+  smokey black (dd)

D/D – Z+  zebra black (dd)

Smokey Black

6d dark allele d continued
6d. Dark allele (D) continued

Because half-black lace sounds strange, the lace was placed before the half-black for half-blacks with D/+. Other dark combinations like hybrid black and clown black were placed after the half-black.


D/+ - Z/+ - h/h  zebra lace half-black

D/g – Z/+ - h/h  zebra half-black hybrid black

7 gold marble
7. Gold Marble

To differentiate gold marble Gm/Gm and Gm/g from angelfish with Gm/+, gold marble will be added as the final “color” mutation description if the fish is Gm/+.


Gm/g - S/S  gold marble blushing

Gm/+ - S/S  blushing gold marble

Blushing Gold Marble (aka “blue koi”)

Gold Marble Blushing (aka “koi”)

8 ghost and blushing
8. Ghost and Blushing
  • Ghost and blushing are added to the end of the name after the other color mutations. Ghost can be listed in parenthesis when its effect is questionable. (Marble, gold, gold marble and smokey.)


D/g – S/+  hybrid black ghost

D/g – S/S  hybrid black blushing

M/M – S/+  marble (ghost)

M/M – S/S  marble blushing

Marble Blushing

9 pearl scale
9. Pearl Scale
  • Pearlscale is added after all other “color” mutations if the fish is p/p


g/g – p/p  gold pearl scale

D/+ - Sm/+ - p/p  smokey lace pearl scale

h/h – p/p  half-black pearl scale

Gold Pearl Scale

10 veil and super veil
10. Veil and Super-veil

Veil is added at the end if the fish is V/+ and super-veil if the fish is V/V.


g/g – V/+  gold veil

g/g – V/V  gold super-veil

Gold super-veil

11 common names that have stuck
11. Common names that have “stuck”

Several common names are in wide enough usage that the calculator was programmed to provide that name.

S/Z  silver clown

D/+ - S/Z  clown black

Gm/Gm - S/S or Gm/g – S/S  koi

D/+ - S/S turquoise

Sm/+ - Z/+ or Sm/+ - Z/Z  smokey leopard

Sm/Sm – Z/Z or Sm/Sm - Z/+  leopard

D/D – S/S, D/g – S/S  black velvet (any form of black blushing)

Gm/+ S/S* blue koi

(*Gm/+ - S/S is commonly referred to by many people as a “blue koi” but the genetics calculator calls it “blushing gold marble.”)

12 names that don t fit the rules clowns
12. Names that don’t fit the rules - Clowns

Z/S  silver clown

With D/D or D/g the fish is darker and the clown markings are harder to see, so “black” precedes “clown.”

D/g – Z/S  hybrid black clown

D/D – Z/S  black clown

With D/+ the clown markings are more apparent, so “clown” precedes “black to distinguish the phenotype from a black clown.

D/+ - Z/S  clown black

Black Clown


The Genetics Calculator will not give names based on alleles that do not show in the phenotype. For instance, Gm/Gm, Gm/g, and g/g are epistatic (suppress the expression) to smokey, halfblack and zebra.

Thus, with a single dose of gold marble, both gold marble and smokey will show in this genotype:

Gm/+ - Sm/+  smokey gold marble

But with Gm/Gm, Gm/g, or g/g the half-black, smokey or zebra alleles do not show up in the phenotype, so the names are simply:

Gm/Gm – Sm/+  gold marble

Gm/g – h/h  gold marble

g/g – Z/Z – h/h  gold

what a lot to remember
What a lot to remember!
  • Fortunately, you do not really need to remember all these rules.
  • As you work with your own angelfish, you will become comfortable with the names that apply to them.
  • If you do a cross that gives you a phenotype that is new to your experience, you can use the genetics calculator to help you figure out what to call it.
  • Don’t forget that the Phenotype Library is a resource to help you understand what most of the possible genotypes will look like.
the end
The End

Back to the chat room for questions, answers, discussion!