Illustrated glossary of mutations in zebrafinch

I made this glossary to illustrate in photos the mutations existing in the zebrafinch.
He can help you identify the mutation (s) of your zebrafinch.

Important clarification : To identify the genotype of your zebrafinch, it must be taken into account that a zebrafinch can carry a mutation without being mutant. Being a carrier (/) of a mutation means that it is partially present (genetically speaking). from a visual point of view the partially carried mutation will not be seen or only by some clues present in the appearance of the bird.
It will be necessary in this case, to have an eye informed to determine the genotype. Sometimes docking couplings will be required.
Your zebrafinch can also have several mutations, the possible combinations are numerous.

This glossary is based solely on the phenotype (visual characters) and simple mutations (not combined).

Gray (GR)

The gray zebrafinch is not a mutation, it is the original type (wild).

Gris male 1 Gris femelle 1

1. Gender mutations

The female can never be a carrier, she is mutant or non-mutant.
The male may carry the mutation.


Brun male 1 Brun femelle 1

Pale back

Dos pale male 1 Dos pale femelle 1

Masked, old type

Masque ancien type male 2 Masque ancien type femelle 2

Masked, new type

Masque nouveau type male Masque nouveau type femelle

2. Dominant mutations

Neither the male nor the female can be a carrier, just one mutant to get 50% of young mutants.

Black face

Black face ou face noire male 1 Black face ou face noire femelle 1


Huppe gris male 1 Huppe gris femelle 1

Gray cheeks

Joues grises male Joues grises femelle 1


Pastel gris male 1 Pastel gris femelle 1

Clear cheeks

Joues claires gris male 1

3. Free recessive mutations

Both male and female can carry the mutation. The character must be present twice to be visible in both males and females.


Agate gris male 1 Agate femelle

Yellow beak

Bec jaunes gris male Bec jaunes gris femelle


Blanc 1


Eumo gris male 1 Eumo gris femelle 1


Isabelle male 1 Isabelle femelle 1

Black cheeks

Joues noires gris male 1 Joues noires gris femelle 1


Panache gris male 1 Panache gris femelle 1

White chest

Poitrine blanche gris male 1 Poitrine blanche gris femelle 1

Black breast

Poitrine noire gris male 1 Poitrine noire gris femelle 1

Orange breast

Poitrine orange gris male 1 Poitrine orange gris femelle 1

4. Some combinations of mutations

Black face male,orange breast, black breast

Black face ou face noire poitrine orange poitrine noire male 1

Male black face, black cheeks

Black face ou face noire joues noires male 1

Male masked black cheeks

Masque joues noires male 1

Male pastel pale back

Pastel dos pale gris male 1
Female brown cheeks

Joues brunes femelle 1

5. Uncommon mutations

Charcoal 1 Thegeorge

- Thanks to Bart Houben and Loïc Leducq, owners of the published photos, who have granted the publication.

Mutation mutant carrier genotype phenotype