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Gouldian Finch - Finch mutation




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Gouldian Finch

Original image copyright: Ross Walker (Ohmi Finch)  近江フィンチ

Species: Gouldian Finch コキンチョウ
Common names: Lady Gouldian Finch, Rainbow Finch, Rainbow Bird, Gouldies, Wondrous Finch, Gouldian Grassfinch, Purple-breasted Finch, Purple-chested Finch, Desert Parrotfinch
Genus: Chloebia gouldiae; Erythrura gouldiae
Mutation: Japanese Red-Eyed Dilute 赤目ダイルート
Gender: Hen
Split ring number:  2
Born (day/month/year):  16/10/2019
DB item code: 46653
(for the bird pictured above): 

This is my lime green hen at about 4 months of age. I suspect she is actually genetically yellow, but the action of the Japanese red-eye dilute gene suppresses the expression of the yellow gene, allowing green to show through (green and yellow are co-dominant). She was born with red eyes that have now changed to a plum colour. The parent cock is also a Japanese red-eye dilute, the parent hen is a normal black-head, white-chest, green-back (not lilac as shown in the parent hen image.

General mutation notes: I am not sure of the genetic mutation involved in producing these dilute Gouldians. Bred by only a handful of breeders so they are very hard to obtain. The breeders are all elderly, speak in a dialect, and use terms that are non-standard, so I have a very hard time understanding comprehending what they are saying when they explain what they believe the genetics are. These dilutes are born with clearly red eyes that change to a dull red (plum?) when they become adults. The term "ino" is often used by these breeders, but they say it is different to the European ino gene.

Only white-chested specimens express this gene. Blacks are heavily but not completely suppressed, as are the blues in (double) blue specimens. This dilute gene appears to be sex-linked. Split cocks show no dilution, as one would expect.

Educated guess:

It might be that the action of this dilute gene suppresses the action of the yellow-back gene, so (European) yellow hens look similar to single-factor yellow cocks, thus expressing a hue that is in-between green and yellow (usually impossible for hens, which are either green or yellow, not in-between). I'd call the colour "lime green". Similarly, silver specimens (double blue, double yellow cocks, and double-blue, yellow hens) both look similar to single-factor pastel-blue cocks (with a powder coat blue colour). Because the yellow gene is suppressed (but not completely), black colours are diluted to charcoal greys rather than to whites.
General species notes: Hardiness: Hardy when acclimatized
Reproduction: Often problematic
Singing ability: Somewhat poor
Compatibility: Passive, mixes well with other passive species
Size: 5" (12.7 cm)
Weight: Around 16-17 grams

Data source: http://www.finchinfo.com/birds/finches/species/lady_gouldian_finch.php

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Site copyright: Dr Ross Walker, Shiga, Japan. The information contained on this website is provided as an educational resource.

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