Proposals and Agreements for Naming and Define Colour
Morphs in Agapornis and other Psittacine Species

MUTAVI Research & Advice Group
in association with the
BVA (Belgian Lovebird Society)

By: Inte Onsman and Dirk van den Abeele

Page revised October 12 - 2000
This draft is based on discussions previously held on the Genetics Psittacine list en is meant to help rename and extend classical genes given in Taylor's Genetics for Budgerigar Breeders (1986) which we consider the best basic principle of what we are trying to achieve for nomenclature and symbolism in psittacine species.
This outline is aimed at suggesting nomenclature for use in articles and E-mails and therefore some text is copied from scientific sources with modifications to fit the hobby.
The proposed terminology might be much more adaptable for use in computer databases, E-mails and articles.

Gene Symbols
Since symbols should be short to be useful and should not attempt to indicate all known information about a gene, a total of two characters to designate gene names is optimal; it is recommended that no more than three characters be used.
Based on classical genetic guidelines, gene symbols always are italicized in articles.

Allele Symbols
The allele symbols should be limited to four characters, with an optimum of two characters.
Capital letters and lowercase letters or Arabic numerals in any order should be used.

Since it is not possible to print superscripts in E-mails we should like to propose the following solution.
The allele characters used in E-mails should be separated from the locus characters by a new symbol --the asterisk-- which serves to combine gene and allele symbols.
The asterisk preceding a symbol indicates that it is an allele of a gene. Likewise, an asterisk following a symbol indicates that it is a gene.

For example:
dil*gw, dil*cw (for alleles at the dilute locus in Budgerigars)

Printing gene and allele symbols in articles.
The allele symbol may convey additional information. The first allele in a series may be designated with an Arabic numeral or combinations of upper- or lowercase letters and Arabic numerals.
For optimal usage, allele symbols should be brief and need not summarize all information known about their genetic specificy.

For example:
The genotype of an Agapornis roseicollis heterozygous at the bl locus, homozygous at the dil locus, and heterozygous at the s locus (all unlinked loci are separated by a semicolon; see below):

bl+ / bl cf; dil / dil; s+ / s

Lovebirds should be referred to by their Latin names.
Agapornis canus
Agapornis taranta
Agapornis pullarius
Agapornis roseicollis
Agapornis swindernianus
Agapornis personatus
Agapornis fischeri
Agapornis lilianae
Agapornis nigrigenis

The wildtype is considered to be the light green and vice versa.
The wildtype including one dark factor is called dark green.
The wildtype including two dark factors is called olive green.

The wildtype with complete loss of yellow psittacin is called sky blue.
The wildtype with complete loss of yellow psittacin plus one dark factor is called cobalt.
The wildtype with complete loss of yellow psittacin plus two dark factors is called mauve.

The wildtype with complete loss of eumelanin in feathers, eyes, legs and toes is called a NSL (Non Sex Linked) or SL (Sex Linked) lutino.
The wildtype with complete loss of eumelanin in feathers, eyes, legs and toes including complete loss of yellow psittacin in feathers is called a NSL (Non Sex Linked) albino or SL (Sex Linked) albino.
In general we should refer to such birds as NSL or SL inos.
SF and DF indicate single factor and double factor with respect to dominant mutations.
The abbreviation must be placed immediately prior to the mutation name it refers to.

Eye colour
The wildtype has black pigmented eyes, however, several eye colour mutants have been recognized in psittacine birds.

Dark (brown) eyes in cinnamons
Brown iris instead of white (yet to be investigated in Budgerigars)
Blue eyes (reported in Budgerigars [1], Cockatiels and Indian Ringnecks)
Plum eyes in recessive pieds
Ruby eyes in some fallow types
Red or pink eyes in fallows and inos
Dark or wine red in some fallow types

Several options for naming pigment diluting loci and alleles.
1. Champagne
2. Dilute
3. Dun
4. Dusky
5. Faded
6. Fawn
7. Lavender
8. Misty
9. Pale

Definitions for the several Fallow mutations in excistance.
Fallow mutations are pigment diluting mutations which must be classified as albinism.
(i) Eye colour in fallows is always affected, in some types severe in other types limited but visible.
(ii)Skin colour in fallows is albinotic or at least pink(ish)
(iii)Their inheritance is always autosomal recessive

Dense pigmentation = Pigment granules are deposited individually but in dense masses in the feather barbs.
Dilute pigmentation = Pigment granules are deposited in clusters in feather barbs often alternated with macro melanin globules.

[1] Royan Webb, (personal communication)

©Inte Onsman
MUTAVI Research & Advice Group