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Category Archives: Algemeen

Mitochondrial genome of A. fischeri

Recently, Chinees scientists, described the complete mitochondrial genome of A. fischeri. Its mitochondrial genome is a circular molecule of 16,719 bp in size, and all genes exhibit the typical gene arrangement according with most avian consensus. The genome information obtained here could contribute to the conservation and utilization of A. fischeri.

[1]H. Liu, K. Jin, en L. Li, “The complete mitochondrial genome of the Fischer’s Lovebird Agapornis fischeri (Psittaciformes: Psittacidae)”, Mitochondrial DNA Part B, vol. 4, nr. 1, pp. 1217–1218, jan. 2019.

List of mutant genes in Genus Agapornis updated

List of mutant genes in Genus Agapornis updated


Agapornis show India

Blue, blue type2, turquoise, *sapphire*, *teal*,…. and so much more ….

Blue, blue type2, turquoise, *sapphire*, *teal*,…. and so much more ….

Article published in BVA International Magazine April 2019.

By Dirk Van den Abeele
Ornitho-Genetics VZW
MUTAVI, Research & Advice Group

Everyone knows by now that in recent years there has been a lot of talk about blue birds within the genus Agapornis. For starters, we are now certain about the existence of blue type2 in Agapornis fischeri, there is the possibility of several new mutations and a breeder in Spain has bred green young from a pair of blue Agapornis personatus. It goes without saying that a lot of people are left with questions. A lot of the questions we currently get are about this topic and the internet and social media is buzzing with rumour, gossip, theories and speculation. Each person has his own opinion. Hence it is difficult to get a clear view on the matter.

Can parrots synthesize phaeomelanin in feathers?

Can parrots synthesize phaeomelanin in feathers? That is a question that is regularly asked among aviculturists and not seldom causes long discussions. Unfortunately, as we already mentioned several times, there is no correct answer on this question.

Till now, we have not heard of any scientific study that confirms the presence of phaeomelanin in the feathers of parrots. There is one recent paper that mentions phaeomelanin in parrots: https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/…/1365-2435.127….

The authors seem to assume that phaeomelanin is responsible for some plumage colours of parrots together with eumelanin, carotenoids and psittacofulvins, but they did not conduct any chemical analyses to confirm that (and we know now for sure that parrots only have psittacofulvins in their feathers and no carotenoids). They cite some studies that investigate the chemical nature of feather pigments, but among those cited studies, we cannot find any confirming the presence of phaeomelanin in parrot feathers.

In MUTAVI, we examined several mutations in Psittaciformes by cross sections and never found phaeomelanine in the feathers. We never said it is impossible, but till now there is no scientific evidence that parrots produce phaeomelanin for pigmentation. Some scholars think it has an evolutionary reason.

The best way to investigate this is by Raman spectroscopy. Raman spectroscopy is commonly used in chemistry to provide a structural fingerprint by which molecules can be identified. So a perfect method to identify phaeomelanin in feathers.

Since it never has been investigated, it is be a good point to test. We can not do it, but I contacted several researchers and we found a scientist who is willing to help us.

Of course we need to pay for the analyses, but I think it is worth the money. Hopefully this research can give us a clear answer.

I heard from several breeders that they believe they have examples of parrot species / mutations that have phaeomelanin in the feathers. So now it is the time to step forward and we will try to find out the truth.

We will collect feathers from these species and we will analyse them.
We hope to collect samples from species from the three super families in Psittaciformes: Psittacoidea, Cacatuoidea, and Strigopoidea.

Who is willing to help, and can provide us feathers of these species before the end of this month?

Please contact us via

For the sake of a good order: we don’t know how long it will take before we will have some results. So please be patient. ?

New at the BVA Masters 2019

From this year on, at the BVA Masters, they will handover an extra award for the best breeder PER COUNTRY.
For each nomination you will get a score.

Moderate / Matig: 1
Sufficient / Voldoende: 2
Good / Goed: 3
Very good / Zeer goed: 4
Excellent / Uitmuntend: 5
Series bronze / Teams & judges bronze: 6
Series Silver/ Teams & judges silver: 7
Series gold / Teams & judges gold: 8
Best in Group / Teams best in group: 9
Best in show / Teams best in show: 10

After the judging they will calculate the scores of the 5 highest nominations per participant / country (in case of  ex aequo, the scores of the 6 highest nomination ….). The participant  with the highest score, per country, will receive the award!


Results feather research SL dominant greywing Agapornis fischeri

The first SL dominant greywing Agapornis fischeri were reported in 2009 in The Netherlands. Because of the inheritance is dominant, some breeders confused them, (despite it is a different phenotype), with dominant edged Agapornis fischeri. So several combinations with dominant edged were made. No need to say that these results were very confusing.

Some thought there was a connection with *dominant yellow* and also these combinations have been made. The result was ‘soup of the day’.

Lucky for us there was one breeder who did the efforts to combine them with pure green and two years ago it revealed that the inheritance was probably sex-linked incomplete dominant. In the mean while lot of combinations with dominant edged and *dominant yellow* were exported abroad and we received different reports of these birds. Some confused them with *dominant yellow* or dominant edged. Others called it SL dominant edged.

In the barred parakeet (Bolborhynchus lineola), AKA lineolated parakeet, Catherine parakeet there is a similar mutation. This mutation appeared about 15 years ago in The Netherlands and after feather research Inte Onsman advised to name it SL dominant greywing.

So now it was time to compare the feathers of SL dominant greywing Agapornis fischeri with the SL dominant greywing Bolborhynchus lineola. We examined feathers from the first SL dominant greywing Agapornis fischeri which were reported in 2009 and 2010 and birds bred in 2015 in Germany and South-Africa. Since the pigmentation is different from what we see in dominant edged Agapornis fischeri, and it looks similar with what we see in cross sections of SL dominant greywing Bolborhynchus lineola, we believe we can confirm that it are (most probably) the same mutations.

So we suggest to name this mutation in Agapornis fischeri also SL dominant greywing.




Site BVA Masters 2019 online

The site for the BVA Master 2019 is online: www.BVAMasters.com


*Pallid* Cacatua galerita Eleonora??

*Pallid* Cacatua galerita Eleonora??

In the R&D centre in Belgium, they have a female Cacatua galerita Eleonora (The Eleonora cockatoo, aka medium sulphur-crested cockatoo) with a different color of the beak, legs and nails. The color of the beak is grey, the legs and nails are light grey (in wildtype beak, legs and nails are completely black).

The bird is born with red eyes, which turned dark after a few days.  The fact that these ‘paler’ birds are all females let us SUSPECT (for the sake of a good order: we did not examine any feathers or DNA of this bird), that it is most possible a sex-linked recessive mutation and (possible) a pallid mutation.

Inheritance *dominant yellow* Agapornis fischeri

The last years we examined several breeding records of *dominant yellow* Agapornis fischeri. It soon became clear that this phenotype (mutation) has a dominant expression, but not all youngster are *yellow*. We also have *misty* and *edged* youngsters. Breeding outcomes helped us to exclude a sex-linked dominant inheritance.

Because we have several phenotypes in * dominant yellow* and there are no clear SF or DF phenotypes, we believe that this mutation has most probably a variable expressivity and, POSSIBLE, a reduced penetrance, but reduced penetrance is something that definitely needs further examination.

FAQ: Where are we with regards to the opaline mutation in Agapornis eye-ring species?

FAQ: Where are we with regards to the opaline mutation in Agapornis eye-ring species?

FAQ: A number of years ago the first opaline Agapornis fischeri appeared on the scene. This sex-linked mutation probably originated in China. In competitions the BVA Masters provides room for the opaline Agapornis fischeri, but not for opaline in the other eye-ring species. This is in spite of the fact that many breeders are working hard to introduce the opaline mutation into other eye-ring species (Agapornis personatus, Agapornis lilianae, Agapornis nigrigenis). Why is it that there is no room (yet) for these at competitions?

Answer: It’s very simple. Developing a good transmutation transmutation (genetic introgression) takes on average 5 F and 5 R generations, which comes to about 10 years. In the case of mutations on the Z chromosome, including opaline, it can take even longer.

*Pallid* Black-headed parrot (Black-headed Caique)?

*Pallid* Black-headed parrot (Black-headed Caique)?

Pionites melanocephalus (Linnaeus, 1758)

The Belgian breeder Mike Matthijs bred, since 2015, four ‘paler’ Black-headed parrot (Black-headed Caique).
The birds are born with red eyes which darken after a few days. The wings are partially bleached and turns light green. The flight feathers are grey. The feet are bleached, the nails light grey coloured and the black head turns grey. The beaks becomes almost horn coloured. The inheritance looks sex-linked recessive. That is why we think this is a possible pallid mutation.

Mike is looking for breeders who have the same mutation. You can contact him by e-mail: pallidcaique@outlook.com