Last Updated on February 2, 2024 by Fumipets
Exploring the Dazzling World of Axolotl Colors and Morphs
Axolotls, the aquatic wonders also known as “Mexican walking fish,” captivate enthusiasts with their mesmerizing colors and unique morphs. These charming amphibians come in a variety of shades and patterns, making them a fascinating subject for those diving into the world of exotic pets.
In this exploration, we delve into the diverse palette and morphological variations that adorn these captivating creatures, unraveling the beauty that lies beneath the water’s surface.
Axolotl Colors and Morphs
Axolotls are a salamander species that can only be found in a tiny region of Mexico near Mexico City. Because it is attractive, intriguing, and simple to care for, this species has become a popular pet.
It’s impossible to dispute that axolotls are adorable. These little aquatic amphibians, with their lovely gills, constitute one of the most endearing exotic pets ever.
Unfortunately, habitat loss and pollution have made axolotls extremely endangered in the wild. The good news is that many people prefer to keep these little creatures as pets, therefore they are regularly produced in captivity. This mating has resulted in a wide range of Axolotl hues, some of which are quite uncommon and sought after by pet owners.
Many individuals have seen axolotls with white-pinkish bodies and mistakenly believe that all axolotls are same. However, this amphibian comes in a variety of hues and mutant forms or morphs, some of which are the consequence of crossbreeding.
The fascinating thing about the axolotl’s hues and morphs is that there is no set amount of color variations for this amazing species.
The Reason for the Many Axolotl Color Variations
A thorough examination of genetics is required to fully comprehend why there are so many axolotl hues and morphs. Axolotls’ color is determined by pigment-bearing cells called chromatophores. Melanophores, xanthophores, and iridophores are the three types of chromatophores.
Each of the three kinds of chromatophores has 14 pairs of chromosomes, one from each parent. Different axolotl color kinds may be made with a little imaginative crossover action. That is why nowadays there are so many axolotl mutations, some of which are quite uncommon.
The 13 Axolotl Color Types & Morphs
Axolotls come in a variety of colors, including:
1. Wild Axolotl
Axolotls in the wild have a dark grayish-green color with black and olive mottling. This kind may also have gold speckles and a light-colored belly. The wild kind has the same coloration and patterning as wild axolotls, thus the name.
2. Leucistic (pink) Axolotl
Leucistic axolotls resemble albinos in appearance, but they are not. These axolotls are transparent white with gold sparkles that glitter. Their gills are pink or crimson, and their eyes are black. These axolotls are scarce in the wild because they are easy to recognize by predators.
3. White Albino Axolotl
White albino axolotls are pure white with red gill filaments and pink or white eyes, as you would expect. The gill stalks of these axolotls sport gold sparkles. Except for the lack of color in their eyes, white albinos resemble leucistic axolotls. As a result, they have poor eyesight and are very sensitive to light.
4. Golden Albino Axolotl
Golden albino axolotls appear just like white albinos when they’re young, and they’re just as sensitive to strong light as white albinos. Golden albinos become peach, yellow, and orange-gold as they mature. They have white, pink, or yellow eyes, and their bodies are covered with reflective dots and speckles.
5. Melanoid Axolotl
Melanoid axolotls are sometimes confused with wild axolotls, although they vary in key ways. They have more pigment in their skin than the wild variety, resulting in a dark brown or black tint on their bodies. The gills and eyes of these solid-colored axolotls are black.
The following morphs of axolotls have been generated in labs as a result of genetic engineering.
6. Axanthic Axolotl Morph
Dark, light, mosaic, and melanoid axolotls are among the many kinds of axanthic axolotls. These axolotls lack xanthophores (yellow pigment), giving them a unique appearance. They have patches on their bodies unless they are melanoid.
7. Copper Axolotl Morph
These axolotls are albino axolotls that have a rusty appearance. Their pupils are clear, and their eye-rings might be glistening. By putting a flashlight in the eyes of a copper axolotl, you can easily identify whether you have one. You have an albino copper if your pupils reflect red.
8. GFP or Axolotl Green Axolotl Morph
Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) axolotls are axolotls that seem to glow in the dark. The majority of these unusual and rare axolotls are generated in a laboratory environment. When the animal is subjected to UV or black light, the fluorescent green hue flashes brightly.
9. Chimera Axolotl Morph
Two eggs morph together before hatching to produce these axolotls. Chimera axolotls are half-wild type and half-leucistic. The axolotls in this photo have a split-down-the-middle appearance.
10. Mosaic Axolotl Morphs
A mosaic axolotl has colors from both the wild type and the leucistic morph jumbled all over its body. The mosaic morph occurs when the DNA of two cells merges into one.
11. Silver Dalmatian Axolotl Morphs
Axolotls with lavender and silvery colors are an uncommon morph. It has distinctive flecks all over its body, giving it a Dalmation dog-like look.
12. Enigma Axolotl Morph
The enigma axolotl is a one-of-a-kind creature! This kind features a beautiful color scheme, with a black body and greenish hue patterns all around.
13. Firefly Axolotl Morph
Another stunning creature produced utilizing embryonic graphing is the firefly axolotl. This kind might have a black body and a lighter tail, or the other way around. Some even have black bodies and glow-in-the-dark tails.
Questions & Answers on Axolotl Colors & Morphs
What Determines the Color of an Axolotl?
Axolotl colors are primarily influenced by genetic factors. Various genes dictate the pigmentation, leading to a spectrum of hues ranging from golden albino to wild-type colors like dark brown or olive. Understanding the genetic makeup is crucial for predicting the potential coloration of axolotl offspring.
Are There Rare or Uncommon Axolotl Colors?
Yes, there are rare and unusual colors in the axolotl world. Some coveted hues include leucistic (pale pink with blueish hues), melanoid (dark with minimal spots), and GFP (Green Fluorescent Protein) varieties that exhibit a glowing appearance under UV light.
How Do Axolotl Morphs Differ from Colors?
While colors refer to the pigmentation of axolotls, morphs encompass a broader category, including physical characteristics like body structure and fin development. Axolotl morphs can range from the standard wild type to unique variations like the “furry” or “gilled” morphs.
Can Axolotls Change Colors Over Time?
Axolotls undergo color changes during their life cycle, with some transitioning from a juvenile coloration to their adult hues. Stress, environmental factors, or health conditions may also impact their color temporarily. However, permanent color changes are typically linked to genetic factors.
How Do Enthusiasts Select Axolotls Based on Colors and Morphs?
Choosing an axolotl often involves personal preference, with enthusiasts selecting colors and morphs that appeal to them. Breeding programs may focus on specific genetic traits, while pet owners might choose based on aesthetic preferences or the desire to showcase rare and unique axolotl varieties.