Various Guppy Tail Forms

There are many different guppy tail forms and the most common of which is the Delta Tail. Though in Singapore, the other tail forms like Double Sword, Swallow, Ribbon and Lyre Tail are equally popular, but Delta still the main favourite of all. 

Below shows the various guppy tail forms which is also compiled as a common standard, generally recognized today in Europe – the International Kuratorium Guppy Hochzucht (IKGH) Standard. Please note that the Swallow and Ribbon are not included in the IKGH Standard and I will cover that in another article.

1. Veiltail

– Body length : 26mm.
Dorsal fin : End at the first third of the caudal.
– Caudal fin : Should have the shape of an isosceles triangle of 45 degrees coming off the peduncle.
– The ideal caudal length is 10/10 of the body length. 
– The caudal edges are straight and even, and the corners may be slightly rounded. 
– The slim dorsal fin raises steeply upwards at first, then ends pointed at the end of the first third of the dorsal fin.

Photo Credit : Veil Tail form from Mimo

Note : The veil tail marks the beginning of the Delta (Triangle) tail. Most early Veil tails had broad rounded off dorsal fins which according to today’s standard, it’s a fault.
 

2. Delta Tail (Triangle Tail)

– Body length : 26mm
– Dorsal fin : End at the first third of the caudal.
– Caudal fin : Should have the shape of a triangle having 70 degrees coming off the peduncle.
– Its caudal length corresponds to 8/10 of the body length.
– The caudal edges are straight and even and the corners can be slightly rounded. 
– The dorsal fin raises steeply upwards at first. It is wide and ends at the end of the first third of the dorsal fin. 

A Delta Tail Japan Blue from Czech breeder – Dr.Joseph Kerzl (CMSG)

Note : The Delta Tail is the most popular and largest tail form today but it’s also a difficult breed form to achieve. In the beginning, the Delta tail form is o­nly available in some basic strain, but breeders have tried breeding and crossing them to achieve them in many new and interesting color strains like the Japan Blue, Mikariff and Galaxy.
 

3. Fantail

– Body length  : 26mm
– Dorsal fin: End at the first third of the caudal.
– Caudal fin : Has gently curving upper and lower edges. It is the widest at 3/4 of its length. 
– The rear edge is concave and its length corresponds to 8/10 of the body length, it may not be less than 5/10 of the total body-length. 
– The width of the caudal fin should be 3/4 of its length. 
– The dorsal fin is rounded and reaches the end of the first third of the dorsal fin. 

A Fan Tail breed form from Israeli breeder Nile Aviner

Note : The Fan Tail form is really not well received in the show guppy circuit. It is considered as a mutation from the Delta form.
 

4. Scarf Tail (Flag Tail)

– Body length : 26mm
– Dorsal fin :End at the first third of the caudal.
– Caudal fin : Has a rectangular shape and its length corresponds to 8/10 of the body length. 
– The width of the caudal fin is 4/10 of the body length. 
– The frontal part of the fin is rounded. 
– The minimum length is 6/10 of the body length. The minimun width corresponds to the body height. 
– The slim dorsal fin raises steeply upwards at first, and then ends pointed at the end of the first third of the dorsal fin.

Note : The o­nly well known Scarf Tail breeder is the Austrian Erwin racer. This Scarf tail is also a mutation from the Delta tail.
 

5. Double sword Tail

– Body length : 25mm
– Dorsal fin : End at the first third of the caudal.
– Caudal fin : Has an oval basic shape with sword shaped extensions of the upper and lower fin rays. 
– The length of the swords corresponds to 10/10 of the total body length. 
– The outer edges form an angle of 30 degrees or more. 
– The part between the swords may be colourless and reach maximum 4/10 of the body length. 
– The slim dorsal fin raises steeply upwards at first, and then ends pointed at the end of the first third of the dorsal fin. 

A Double sword breed form from Swedish breeder – Zuechterin Anett wolf (SGS)

Note : The double sword is the second popular breed form after the Delta tail in Europe. In earlier times, the Viennese Emerald and multi-colored are commonly seen o­n double swords. But now there are more new strains available in Double Sword form too and including albino strain. Due to the easy handling and maintenance of this strain, it is also highly recommended for beginners.
 

6. Top swordtail

– Body length : 25mm
– Dorsal fin : End at the first third of the caudal.
– Caudal fin : Has an oval basic shape with a sword shaped extension of the upper fin rays. 
– The length of the sword corresponds to the body length and the sword comes off the body axis at an 15 degree angle, or stays parallel to the body axis. 
– The basic oval part of the caudal fin can be colourless and reach a maximum length at 4/10 of the body length. 
– The slim dorsal fin raises steeply upwards at first, and ends pointed at the end of the first third of the dorsal fin. 

Top Sword Tail Form from the Austrian breeder – Dr. walter shoemaker (OEGG)

7. Bottom swordtail

– Body length : 25mm
– Dorsal fin : End at the first third  of the caudal.
– Caudal fin : Has an oval basic shape, with a sword shaped extension of the lower fin rays. 
– The length of the sword corresponds to the body length and the sword comes off the body axis at an 15 degree angle to the body axis. 
– The basic oval part of the caudal fin may be colourless and reach a maximum length at 4/10 of the body length. 
– The slim dorsal fin raises steeply upwards at first, and ends pointed at the end of the first third of the dorsal fin. 

Bottom Sword Tail Form from the French breeder – J.-C. Sangleboeuf  

Note : The Bottom Sword Tail Form was discovered as early as in 1939. The Austrian breeders continued to breed it to the ideal form of today. Unfortunately, o­nly the Grey and Blond body Bottom Sword is concentrated o­n. Though other body color are neglected, but it may not be difficult to produce and develop.
 

8. Lyretail

– Body length : 25mm
– Dorsal fin : End at the first third of the caudal.
– Caudal fin : Has the shape of a lyre. 
– The basic shape of the fin is round and should not exceed 4/10 of the body length. 
– The outer fin rays correspond to 8/10 of the body length and the tips are bent directing away from the body.
– The dorsal fin raises steeply upwards at first, and reach, with a slightly upbent tip, the end of the first third of the dorsal fin. 

Lyre tail form  from German breeder – Gernot Kaden

Note : The Lyre tail form looks like the Double Sword tail form. Therefore, some said that they are both related genetically with o­ne another. You may notice that the Lyre tail form curves outwards compared to the Double Sword tail form.
 

9. Cofer Tail (Spade Tail)

– Body length : 24mm
– Dorsal fin : End at the first third of the caudal.
– Caudal fin : Looks like a mining spade. 
– The caudal upper and lower fin edges first draw away from the body, then go parallel. 
– Its caudal length corresponds to half of the body length. The height reaches 8/10 of the fin length. 
– The dorsal fin is pointed and ends between the beginning and the end of the first third of the dorsal fin.

Cofer tail form from the French breeder – J.Michel Coulee (AFV)

Note : The Cofer Tail form seems to have the same genetic makeup as the Round Tail form. In some shows, the Cofer Tail form and the Round Tail form are put together. It has been argued intensively that the Cofer Tail derived from the Round Tail through intensive inbreeding. As such, the dorsal has becomes longer and pointed with increasing inbreed. Nevertheless, the Cofer Tail seldom conform to the required standard shown above with parallel tail fin and caudal length of 5/10 of body length. Thus it may be time to reconsider the standard form of the Cofer Tail.
 

10. Speartail

– Body length : 24mm
– Dorsal fin : End at the first third of the caudal.
– Caudal fin : Has the shape of a spearhead. 
– Its caudal length is 8/10 of the body length, the height reaches 8/10 of the fin length. 
– The dorsal fin raises steeply upwards at first, and reaches with a slightly upbent tip the end of the first third of the dorsal fin. 

Photo Credit : Spear Tail form from Mimo

Note : The Spear Tail form is a rare breed form as it’s seldom seen in exhibitions and shows. Also it’s genetic makeup is not really known till today.
 

11. Roundtail

– Body length : 24mm
– Dorsal fin : Up to the beginning of the caudal.
– Caudal fin : Is round with a diameter of 5/10 of the body length. 
– The dorsal fin is rounded and reaches the end of the first third of the dorsal fin. 

Photo Credit : Round tail form from Mimo

Note : The Round Tail form is getting more popular in recent years as more and more are seen in the Europe shows. The Round Tail form though seems to resemble in it’s wild form, but after much crossbreeding, they are available in many new and interesting color. This can be achieved by crossing the male Round Tail with other female standard tail form especially the basic body color grey.
 

12. Pintail (Needle Tail)

– Body length : 24mm
– Dorsal fin : End at the first third of the caudal.
– Caudal fin : The basic shape is round with a diameter of 4/10 of the body length. The central fin rays are extended to a pin, and correspond to 10/10 of the body length. 
– The slim dorsal fin raises steeply upwards at first, and ends pointed at the end of the first third of the dorsal fin. 

Photo Credit : Pin tail form from Mimo

Note : The Pin Tail form is really a rare breed form and not many like the Austrian breeder Alfons Jestrabeck continuously breeding them. It somehow resembles the Spear Tail.

Article Credit : Swedish Guppy Association and Guppy-Aktuell
Photo Credit : Mr. Gernot Kaden of Guppy-Aktuell

* Please note that the above are my personal point of views, and are written to help those who are interested in learning more about guppies. I would also like to thank those who have shared their experiences with me.

Note : This article was first written and published by Chris Yew on Friday December 09, 2005.

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