Snakeskin Strain

January 24, 2007 at 2:15 am | Posted in Guppy Strains Library, Snakeskin and Cobra Strain | 2 Comments

In a show or competition, snakeskin is classified as having a continuous chainlink or rosette pattern of at least 60% on the body irregardless of the tail pattern or color (IFGA classification).

Vertical or Horizontal zebrinus or “cobra” type bars do not count. A modifier is used to describe snakeskins who do not have snakeskin fins, e.g. variegated snakeskin or solid snakeskin. They are separated into solid tail color or varigated tail color classes and there is of course the delta and veil shape classes.

Lace is a modifier too of the pattern and refers to a finer pattern on the body. Lace pattern is usually x-linked (as opposed to y-linked “regular” snakeskins) so there may be a genetic difference between lace and regular snakeskin. Due to the crossing-over phenomena, one cannot be absolute here.

Remember in IFGA judging, they don’t look at Genetics, but look at the color and pattern for classification purposes. Thus when one is entering a snakeskin for show, you must know what the judges are looking for.

The Cobra guppy, which displays the vertical zebrinous bars without the snakeskin pattern may compete in the appropriate non snakeskin caudal color class. Many Snakeskin lines will still produce some Cobra guppies, along with the Snakeskins.

The Snakeskin pattern or trait, is dominant on the Male fish which has the snake pattern.

Solid and Variegated Snakeskin males are dominant over gray body strains as for the snakeskin pattern. When making a cross to produce a new caudal color line make certain that both strains breed at least 80% true or better and the snakeskin pattern is a least 50% of the male’s body.

Usually in their F1, the offspring may all look the same – snakeskin males with similar females. But don’t be surprised if the males in the f1 are mostly ‘cobra’ type and are lacking the good chain link snakeskin pattern.

When breeding these males back to the original pure snakeskin females the offspring are usually mixed. About 40% show zebrinous bars or cobra markings, while the others are poor to good Snakeskins. Breeding the F1 offspring brother to sister will produce a mixed bag of many types and should be avoided.

Keep selecting the best overall males with the best pattern in the body and if linebred correctly you will eventually start seeing an overall improvement.

It may also be necessary to determine which females carry the better gene for the caudal color or pattern. There is no right or wrong method to this other than trial and error and plenty of patience.

In some snakeskin lines the clear caudal females are the better carriers for the Snakeskin pattern while in another strain it is the pattern caudal females that better.

There are various talks about the origins of Snakeskin. However, the filigree pattern on the body may have been developed and enhanced from tiny patterns on wild guppies that the early scientists attributed to what they called “filigran” genes.

Therefore, the “filigran” (meaning lace) gene (Fil) is responsible for the snakeskin pattern, as was first describe by Dr. Michael Dzwillo in 1959. Dzwillo probably acquired the guppy from the German creator Dr. Eduard Schmidt Focke in the Fifties.

Mike Reed in May of 1965 in a news article in the Tropical Fish Hobbyist (TFH p 69) nominated his guppy as “King Cobra” for the Mac Guppy Hatchery in the City of Long Island, New Iorque.

Since then, Snakeskin and Cobra or King Cobra term has been used interchangeably.

These are very good article on snakeskin;
Fifteen Years of Snakeskin Topsword Guppies in the UK…swords.htm


Wild Snakeskin…igran.html





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    Snakeskin Strain | Guppies Onli

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