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    Home arrow Varieties
    Varieties PDF Print E-mail
    Written by Gardner McBride   
    Thursday, 21 September 2006
    Classification of Guppies

    The type of breed or name of guppy is not consistent around the world. Unlike dogs or other pets that have international exchanges guppy has different classifications in different countries. Also due to its various gene types a new type of breed is made every day which is not kept within a consistent standard.
    For example what we call Cobra in Korea is called Snake skin in the U.S. and Dragon in East Asia. We call Grass or Mosaic due to the classification of the pattern of the tail but in the States they classify them as 'any other color' or 'multi'. Within GUSAMO the explanations of the guppy breed has been classified according to the general one that has also been used during the '99 Contest.

    1.Shape - Classification between a nicely shaped guppy and a bad one, Classification between Tail fin type and long fin type

    2.Color - Type of melanin changes, Different color type between lower and upper body, Pattern on tail.

    2. Shape

    1) Forehead: The upper part of the body should not be bent nor too round. It should be sharp and straight looking.
    2) Head: In case of guppies bred in mass a number of them have longer heads. Too long a head or too short a head does not look rightly balanced. Those with long heads usually become bent when they get older.
    3) Dorsal: The rectangular area of the dorsal looks better when width is longer than the length. It is experienced that the longer length type has a longer tail fin than the longer width type.
    4) Tail fin: A good Fancy Guppy is distinguished by the size of the tail. It is a better type when its tail is bigger and wider. In case of Delta type or Fan tail guppies it is standard of the I.F.G.A. to have a 1:1 rate of the length from the angular point of the tail to the end of the tail and the length from the angular point of the tail to the end of the head. In foreign countries those with short tails are classified into a different breed called the veil tail. However at GUSAMO there is no other classification of such breeds because short tailed guppies don¡¯t look right.

    Type of Tail

    Guppies not only have a variety of color but different types of tail too.

    1) Wild: most common tail fin

    2) Pin: the middle of the tail fin made longer

    3) Spade: a tail fin shaped like a spade

    4) Top Sword: the upper end of the tail fin made longer

    5) Bottom Sword: the lower end of the tail fin made longer

    6) Double Sword: both ends of the tail fin made longer

    7) Lyre Tail:shaped tail with the middle part shorter

    8) Delta: a triangular shaped tail fin

    9) Fan: a tail fin shaped like a fan

    10)Long Fin Type

    There are two different types of long fin type - Ribbon type and Swallow type.
    1) Ribbon type: This is the type with an elongated fin. In case of a male-sex because of it's elongated Gonopodium it has no fertility. Therefore this is a type that is reproduced only with the female-sex. If the female-sex is a Ribbon type you can obtain 50% of the same type when crossbred because the Ribbon gene is dominant.

    2) Swallow type: This is the type with a rugged fin. Like the Ribbon type it is crossbred only with the female-sex. When crossbred you get to obtain the normal type but when you inbreed these 18.75% come out as Swallow.

    3. Color
    Upper Body Color

    1) Gray : Most common color type that resembles a common pond fish color. This color is considered Dominant compared to other body color.

    2) Golden : This color type is result of a change in Melanin (color gene) in the body. It is also called blond in US

    3) Tiger : This type has dark black edges on individual scales.

    4) White : White color body.

    5) Albino : Albino is whitening of the body color caused by lack of Melanin.

    6) Real Red Eye Albino : There are two types of red eye colors for Guppies. Red wine color red eye type is called Albino eye. The clear pink color eye is called Real Red Eye Albino, RREA

    Unique Color Types

    1) Metallic Deep metallic color on the head/upper body. Slight variation in color and depth of metallic may be cause by the water condition and health of the fish. Some types have metallic color covering its entire body.
    2) Platinum Sparkling silver body color. Similar color strains are Coral and Micarif.

    Lower Body Color

    1) Cobra
    This type has snake-like pattern on its body. Its is also commonly called ¡®Snakeskin¡¯. Its exotic color/pattern is favored by male hobbyist and is one of the popular exotic families along with Galaxy and Medusa, which were previously developed out of the Cobra strains.

    2) Tuxedo
    Its is named by its lower body (waist down) being black which make it appear like its wearing a black tuxedo. Its is commonly called Half Black in US. Some strains have different color tuxedos such as Green and Pink.

    Tail Pattern Type

    1) Solid Tail
    This type has a solid color tail such as red, yellow, green, purple, black etc. It`s considered superior when the color is clear and does not contain different color shades.

    2) Grass
    This is a variation of a Mosaic pattern and has small dots all over on the tail making it appear as if grass seeds were on it. Strains such, as Blue Grass is one of the very popular strains along with the German Yellowtail Tuxedo, and RREA Neon Tuxedo.

    3) Mosaic
    It has bigger dots that are inter-connected. Mosaic strains have been developed for a long time and are common but often superior than most strains. Mosaic is not very popular in Korea, but a strain such as Blue Mosaic is very beautiful and is used to improve other strains.

    4) Leopard
    This type has dots that are much bigger compared to Grass type. Strains such as Leopard Tuxedo are very beautiful, but are considered difficult to stabilize the pattern over generations.

    4. Texedo

    Tail fin: Either a fan tail or a delta tail. In case of a single color breed it is better to be plain - no spots or dotted patterns.

    Dorsal: Compared to other breeds, it has a longer and bigger dorsal.

    Color: It should be dark and both sexes must have a metallic silver color on its dorsal. Tuxedos of the Neon heredity and the German Yellow Tail must have a yellow lip line.

    Characteristics of the female-sex Tuxedo : Although both Tuxedo sexes have similar colors, the female-sex is lighter than the male-sex. It must have a silvery color on its dorsal. Compared to other female-sex breeds it is usually smaller

    Type: German Yellow Tuxedo, Green Tuxedo, Blacktail Tuxedo, Skyblue Tuxedo, Neon Tuxedo, Mosaic Tuxedo, Cobra Tuxedo, Leopard Tuxedo, etc.
    Other: Tuxedo breed is known to have been crossbred in the early 1960s in Germany. By then there were only two types, Blue and Green. However after much crossbreeding the German Yellow Tuxedo, one of the most popular guppies was made. Both sexes have a unique color. Most of the German Yellow Tuxedos are small both in size and numbers. This is believed to be the cause of too much breeding.

    Texedos kinds

    German Yellow-tailed Tuxedo

    German Yellow-tailed Tuxedo Ribbon

    German Yellow-tailed Tuxedo Ribbon Albino

    German Yellow-tailed Tuxedo

    Golden German Yellow-tailed Tuxedo

    Plantium German Yellow-tailed Tuxedo Ribbon

    White-tailed Tuxedo Albino

    Fullgold Yellow-tailed Tuxedo

    Blue-tailed Tuxedo Albino

    Blue-tailed Tuxedo Ribbon Albino (Super White)

    Red-tailed Tuxedo

    Red-tailed Tuxedo Albino

    Red-tailed Tuxedo Albino

    Pink Tuxedo

    Black-tailed Tuxedo

    Blue-tailed Tuxedo Swallow

    Sky Blue-tailed Tuxedo

    Blue-tailed Tuxedo Ribbon Albino

    Blue-tailed Tuxedo Swallow Albino

    Blue-tailed Tuxedo Albino

    Tail fin : Its original pattern is in between Mosaic and Glass breeds. However new crossbreeds show their own characteristics.
    Dorsal : Usually white or yellow with the same tail fin pattern. Generally a majority of this type have small dorsals. Constant crossbreeding is necessary.
    Color : From head to tail it has a snakeskin pattern of a metallic color. Due to their dotted pattern on the pectoral, its unpolished beauty makes it a preference among people.

    Characteristics of the Female-sex Cobra : Generally the female-sex Cobra doesn't have a pattern it its fin. Due to this dominant gene, female-sex cobras are widely used to crossbreed a fixed breed. However, recently many female-sex cobras with different characteristics have been bred which are likely to affect other breeds.

    Type : King Cobra, Lace Cobra, etc.

    Other : Cobra was distributed to all parts of the world from the Mac Guppy Hatchery located in the U.S. in 1965. However some believe that its original breed was made in Germany. It is a very popular breed among amateurs to guppy manias. Crossbreeding is only possible between female-sexes. However nowadays due to a variety of breeds male-sexes are also possible to crossbreed.


    Tail fin : Delta tail shaped almost like a triangle with a Mosaic pattern. The color of its tail is rather preferable if its end has several different colors rather than plain red.

    Dorsal : Either white or dark pink. It has either no pattern or similar patterns like that of its tail fin.

    Color : Like the Tuxedo, it is of dark color from its waist to its tail. However not on its upper part.

    Characteristics of the female-sex Mosaic : It is a very similar pattern to that of the Glass female-sex. There are many with a top sword tail fin. It is believed that this is due to the dominant gene of its origin breed. Its pattern is spread apart and not so clear like the male-sex but its tail has a clear pattern.

    Type: Red Mosaic, Blue Mosaic, Santa Maria Mosaic, etc.

    Other: The name Mosaic originates from the Japan. Having imported the Tuxedo breed from Germany in the early 1960s, they started to crossbreed a fixed breed. It is believed that this breed was made in the process of fixing the Tuxedo breed from the Wild type.


    Tail fin : Mostly fan tailed with two different types of pattern according to their sizes. However both types have dotted patterns on their tails. There are many with yellow colored tails in the middle but these are not considered to be good breeds. The ones with greenish/bluish colors are the best.

    Dorsal : Lighter than the color of their tail fin, there are many white color breeds. Their patterns are similar to that of their tail fin or bigger as if spread apart.

    Color : Metallic wild colors

    Characteristics of the female-sex Glass : Compared to other female-sex breeds, Glass is very big in size. Some full grown female-sex Glasses are 9cm in length. Mostly grayish colored the tail fin is smaller than the male-sex but has a dotted pattern. There are some female-sex Glasses with a longer upper end tail like the top sword fin but these are known to be the result of crossbreeding with the Mosaic breed. Plain-colored with round tail is considered to be the best breed. If the female-sex is plain-colored, it doesn't affect the fin pattern of the male-sex. This is due to the fact that round tail is possible to obtain fan tail.

    Type : Blue Glass, Red Glass, etc.

    Other : There aren't enough records on the Glass breed. Only that it started to be exported from Singapore by the end of the 1960s. It is believed that its origin is Europe. Like the German Yellow Tuxedo, it is one of the most popular nobel type of guppies in the world.


    Tail fin : Differ from breed to breed according to their characteristics.

    Dorsal : Differ according to the shape and color of the fin .

    Color : Metallic color on the upper part

    Type : Metal Cobra, Metal lace Cobra, Metal glass, Metal glass Cobra, etc.

    Other : Metal is known to be first bred in the Soviet Union thus called the Metal Moscow in the West. Like the Cobra it can only be crossbred between male sex. Therefore crossbreeding a female-sex Metal with an ordinary male-sex guppy will not result in a Metal breed.

    Tail fin : Characteristics of the crossbred.

    Dorsal : Similar to the tail.

    Color : The upper part is of silver, gold, and platinum.

    Other: Platinum was first crossbred in Germany. Because Platinum is crossbred between male-sexes, owing one male-sex Platinum enables to crossbreed many different species. Recently many different types of breeds have been made. Like the Albino, Platinum is a trait possible in all breeds.
    Information Source – MADMIKE
    Last Updated ( Sunday, 10 February 2008 )