Rump Color Inheritance

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Owl finches have two subspecies: the black-rumped race (Taeniopygia bichenovii annulosa) and the white-rumped race (Taeniopygia bichenovii bichenovii). The difference in rump colors is not considered a mutation, however, the subspecies can be interbred to produce fertile offspring which share the characteristics of both parents (i.e. rumps that contain both black feathers and white feathers; these young are called "visual splits"). Therefore the rump color in owl finches appears to be an autosomal codominant trait.


White rumped normal White rumped fawn

White rump is codominant to black rump, and can occur in both fawn and normal body colors.


Black rumped normal Black rumped fawn

Black rump is codominant to white rump, and can occur in both fawn and normal body colors.


Split rumped normal Split rumped fawn

A "visual split" is a bird which shows both black feathers and white feathers on its rump, because the bird is carrying both a black rump gene and a white rump gene, which are codominant to each other.


Here are some breeding charts which will give you a list of all potential outcomes from a given cock - hen pairing. Please note that for simplification, I have decided to represent the "rump color gene" with the letter "R" in the charts below, and only show the inheritance for rump color on the normal-bodied bird.


Black rump×Black rump
Black-rumped cock × Black-rumped hen
Male Offspring

White rump
D
a
m
 
S i r e     
  R R
R RR RR
R RR RR
Female Offspring

White rump
All chicks will be black-rumped.



White rump×White rump
White-rumped cock × White-rumped hen
Male Offspring

White rump
D
a
m
 
S i r e     
  R R
R RR RR
R RR RR
Female Offspring

White rump
All chicks will be white-rumped.



Black rump×White rump
Black-rumped cock × White-rumped hen (or vise versa)
Male Offspring

Visual split
D
a
m
 
S i r e     
  R R
R RR RR
R RR RR
Female Offspring

Visual split
All chicks will be "visual splits" (have both black feathers and white feathers on the rump).



Split rump×White rump
"Visual split" cock × White-rumped hen (or vise versa)
Male Offspring

Visual split
White rump
D
a
m
 
S i r e     
  R R
R RR RR
R RR RR
Female Offspring

Split rump
White rump
Half of the chicks will be "visual splits" and the other half will be white-rumped.



Split rump×Black rump
"Visual split" cock × Black-rumped hen (or vise versa)
Male Offspring

Visual split
Black rump
D
a
m
 
S i r e     
  R R
R RR RR
R RR RR
Female Offspring

Split rump
Black rump
Half of the chicks will be "visual splits" and the other half will be black-rumped.



Split rump×Split rump
"Visual split" cock × "Visual split" hen
Male Offspring

Split rump
White rump
Black rump
D
a
m
 
S i r e     
  R R
R RR RR
R RR RR
Female Offspring

Split rump
White rump
Black rump
Theoretically, one quarter of the chicks will be white-rumped, one quarter will be black-rumped, and the remaining 50% will be "visual splits."



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