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Here is a database of some of the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding all coturnix quail genetics, both mutations in public and laboratory hands. It has been looked by many of the top geneticists across the world, and is continuously being updated to be as accurate as possible.  If you would like to suggest an edit or find inaccurate information, please contact me below! 


Marble Surface

Start with vocabulary: these are most of the common terms used. If you aren't familiar with genetics, knowing these definitions are the first step to understanding what is going on with your birds. 

Breeding True: when you pair two quail of the same variety together, they will throw offspring with 100% of the same color. 

Homozygous: two same copies of the gene. Written as two of the same letter (etc. hh). Homozygous will breed true.

Heterozygous: two different copies of the gene. Written as two different letters (etc. hf) Heterozygous will breed 50% true, 25% homogyzous, and 25% recessive. See "Calculating Genetics" coming soon. 

Dominant: If present, it will always be expressed. Cannot be hidden by other alleles.  Written with capital letters (etc. H)

Recessive: An allele that can be covered up by dominant alleles, will not always be shown. The only way to determine if recessive genes are present is to track the lineage.  Written with lowercase letters (etc. h)

Incomplete Dominant: An allele that will not completely mask recessive alleles, but instead will blend with them. Still written with a capital letter, but must be noted. (etc. H incomplete)

Locus: the location of the gene. Written as a single or series of letters. More than two alleles cannot be on the same locus (i.e. you can never have both homozygous (two copies of) Lavender and homozygous (two copies) Andalusian gene in the same bird because they are on the same locus.)

Autosomal: A gene written on a numbered non-sex gene. 

Sex-Linked: A gene written on a numbered sex gene. 

Feather sexable (FS): Sex can be determined at or before sexual maturity by feather patterns (usually expressed around three to four weeks). 

Not Feather sexable (NFS):  Sex cannot be determined at any age by visual appearance alone. Must be vent sexed to determine gender. 

Phenotype:  Things you can visually see on a bird caused by their genes (etc. the natural feather color). 

Allele: A pair of genes on a particular chromosome (the same locus) that control the same characteristic every time. 

Pleiotropic:  A single mutation affecting multiple unrelated phenotypes. (Etc. Dilutions of both feather color and eye color)

Base Patterns

Base Patterns

Once you have a basic understanding of the vocabulary, focus on identifying and learning the base patterns in birds. If you are starting with quail for show or genetics, these "plain" patterns would be the best to start our with as they are the easiest to work with and predict. 

All colors of Coturnix Quail must have one of the five main base patterns.

While multiple dilutions and enhancers can be layered upon the base, causing the color or pattern itself to be distorted, all birds will still carry the base underneath.  There are six total bases, though only five are available to the public. These five are on two different locuses (locations) and are from three mutations. 




Locus Y, Gene: ASIP

Autosomal Incomplete Dominant


Manchurians are homozygous for Fawn, which means they will breed 100% true.

 They are have a golden/yellow coloring across the whole body. Ideally, a well-bred Manchurian will not have any black markings across the back, but they can have a few small black barrings across the bottom of the feather. Even poorly marked Manchurians should have less back markings than Italians. 


Feather sexable at 3-4 weeks of age, males tend to have a more defined and prominent chin strap, and females will just have a stripe from the cheek to the back of the head. Males with SLB will present a dark rusty face and cap, while females with SLB will not. Females may or may not have minimal speckles down the breast feathers. This isn't preferred in Manchurian.


Sometimes also called Golden, though Manchurian is it's official name. 

Locus Y, Gene: ASIP

Autosomal Incomplete Dominant


Italians are heterozygous for Fawn, meaning when you cross Italian x Italian, you will get 25% Manchurian, 50% Italian, and 25% Pharaoh. Because their offspring isn't 100% Italian, they do not breed true.  

 A well marked Italian will be a yellow color with broken black crescents on the end of each feather. They should have a clean mask, with a thin strap of off-white feathering under their chins. Poorly marked Italians will not have black on every feather, but should still have more markings than a Manchurian. 

Feather sexable at 3-4 weeks of age, males will have a dark mask and cap, and females will just have a stripe from the cheek to the back of the head. Females will also have speckles on the breast feathers while males will not.  

Extended Brown (EB)


Locus E.

Autosomal Incomplete Dominant

Tibetans are homozygous for EB, which means they will breed 100% true. They have two copies on the E locus. 

 They can be a wide range of brown, but darker is almost universally preferred. It is possible to achieve a black appearance with proper breeding, but these are not the same as recessive black.


Feathers will still carry the black barring on the ends, and though the yellow bars aren't as common on Tibetan, they can still exist. The feather shaft will be black or dark brown, separating them from their Rosetta counterparts. Pink toes and white chins are common but not preferred, and can be bred out with diligent breeding practices.

They are not feather sexable at all, vent sexing is the only way to determine sex. 


Locus E.

Autosomal Incomplete Dominant


Rosetta are heterozygous for EB, which means they have only one copy of EB gene and one "clean" copy of pharaoh. They do not breed true. Rosetta x Rosetta will result in 50% Rosetta, 25% Tibetan and 25% Pharaoh.

Rosetta are a brown or reddish/brown color, with black barring on each of their back and wing feathers. With proper breeding, they can appear almost black, but the patterning will still be visible underneath. The patterning is identical to Tibetan except for the feather shafts, which will be a yellow or white coloration and provide a vertical line in the middle of each feather.


They also tend to be lighter than their homogyzous counterparts. Pink toes are common, but a majority of their feet and legs should be a dark brown. Completely dark feet are preferable.  White feathers on the chin are common but not preferred when breeding for genetics. 

Vent sexing is the only way to determine sex. 



Pharaoh is the purest form of color-- it is what a quail looks like without any other dilutions, bases, mutations, or otherwise. They don't have a locus or inheritance because it is the absence of anything on top of it. Without any mutations, it will always breed true. Pharaoh is essential for breeding programs as it acts as a "test color" to breed everything back to, mainly because it is so predictable and can be considered a clean slate.

 They are an even brown color with wing patterning. Backs should present straight, even, white vertical lines on both sexes. Each feather should have eye-like black patterns on back feathers and wing feathers will present a wavy-type pattern. Masks should be clean and crisp, and both sexes should present a thin white chin strap across the bottom of their face.

They are feather sexable at three weeks. Females will have black chest speckling while males will have a rusty, clean chest.  Males with SLB will also have a rusty, reddish face, though this is not ideal. 



Once you have a good grasp on the bases, consider the different ways the colors of the bases can change with dilutions. 

Dilutions are one of the most common ways the feather pattern will vary from the original base patterns. The dilutions typically leave the base pattern, but change different aspects of the color.  Multiple dilutions can also be present on the same bird as long as they are on different locuses or are in hetero form. 




Locus: unknown. 

Not S, 

Autosomal, incomplete dominant. 

Fee is a dilution that leaves the grey and black patterning on quail but washes out any other brown pigment and leaves it grey or white. 

In homozygous form, the bird will be entirely grey, black, and white. There will be no color pigment anywhere on the bird. In hetero form, the plumage will be a majority grey, black, and white, but there may be  color leakage in the patterning as well.  In both forms, the fee will be clearly visible. 

Fawn base: Pearl Fee (FS)

EB base: Grau Fee (Not FS)

Tibetan: Sometimes called Black, otherwise just Grau Fee (NFS)

    *Note: Black quail typically have more than just fee. They also are not to 

      be confused with Recessive Black. 

Wildtype Base: Falb Fee (FS)

Locus: BR

Sex-Linked Recessive

Roux dilutes the entire bird without changing the patterning itself. Bird will be a pale reddish color, even lighter than the Brown dilution. This is a very distinct color and can be seen at hatch.


Can be bred to show sex immediately at hatch. Males must be homozygous Roux over females that do not carry any sex-linked dilutions. The resulting hatch will have Roux females and hetero Roux males (males will not express Roux and appear to be just the base pattern.)


Wildtype: Egyptian (FS)

Fawn: Autumn Amber (FS)

Tibetan: Range (Not FS)

Rosetta: Scarlett (Not FS)

Sex-Linked Brown 

Locus: BR

Sex-linked recessive. 


SL Brown is a dilution that creates a light brown rusty coloring on the neck and back feathers, though it can lighten the coloring on the whole body and often makes the mask a full reddish brown color instead of clean barring. It is only expressed in hetero form and can be easily hidden in flocks.

SL Brown is extremely common in both large-scale production lines and small hobby flocks, and it is more common to find birds with it then without.  However it is usually avoided when breeding for color or genetics as it can "muddy" up the true color and adds another layer of complication to predicting outcomes. 

It is possible to create a batch of sexable-at-hatch chicks because it is on a sex gene, however because it is so hard to detect even at the adult stage and nearly impossible as chicks, it is not very common. Females can express in hemizygous form (read more about sex-linked hemizygous vs heterozygous here) while males must be homozgyous to show any forms of sexlink brown. Therefore, if you have a rooster with homo SL Brown and hens with no SL brown whatsoever, all chicks with SL Brown will be female and all chicks not showing SL Brown will be male carriers. 


Called SL Brown on all base forms. 

FS on fawn and wildtype

NFS on EB bases

Oz Snowy

Locus: unknown

Autosomal, recessive. 

Oz snowy is a fairly new mutation researched by Tamara Roswell at Kamilah Quail and mostly found in Australia, though it is  found in other countries as well.

It does not present in heterozygous form, as it is recessive. It can only be seen in homozygous forms. 

On Pharaoh and EB bases, the bird will have the same pattern, with a light reddish/grey color. The chinstrap will also display a light brown instead of the typical black. The biggest difference between Roux+Fee (Egyptian Fee) and Oz Snowy is that Oz Snowy is not sex-linked. 

On Fawn bases, the bird will have the same patterning but almost all color will be gone. It presents very similar to Pearl Fee, with a light grey/white background and black patterns. 

Called Oz Snowy on all base forms. 

FS on Fawn and Wildtype

NFS on EB bases. 


Locus LAV.  Gene: MLPF

Autosomal recessive. 

In homozygous form, Lavender will appear any range of grey, with the main pattern showing through. Reddish tones around the neck are also common, but not required. It tends to have more base pattern and color than hetero silver would when on a Pharaoh background, and also doesn't have white wingtips unless it has white winged pied or tuxedo dilutions over it. Because Lavender is recessive, you will not see it in heterozygous form. 

Lavender also has been found (in laboratory conditions) to have a slightly higher increase in feed intake and lower overall body temperature and weight when compared to pharaoh under the same conditions, but this likely isn't noticeable in backyard conditions but suggests that the Lavender mutation affects the metabolism of quail as well as feather color. 

It is unknown how prominent Lavender is as a whole in the United States, or in other countries across the world. It has been reported to be mixed into the SSC collection, though it is not isolated and there are no "true" Lavender lines being publically sold in the US. A majority of grey birds are actually heterozygous Silver and Andalusian instead of lavender. 

Lavender can look nearly identical to the Andalusian, silver, and Blau mutations, as all three have a wide range of grey colors. All three are also mixed in the Schofield Silver Collection bloodline.  The best way to tell them apart is by their genetic background and their offspring. 

Called Lavender on all base forms. 

FS on Pharaoh and Fawn Bases

NFS on EB bases or with NFS dilutions over it. 


Locus: mi. Gene: MITF

Autosomal, incomplete dominant.  Likely peliotropic. 

Homogyzous silver is a light cream color, almost white, and will have next to no patterning on the body. Heterogyzous silver is the "typical" silver color and can be all shades of grey. The base pattern is usually visible underneath, and the wing feathers are usually white, even though it doesn't carry white  mutations. In both forms, the bird will display dark eyes and tend to have pink feet.

Silver in homogyzous form has also been noted to throw a lethal silver gene that causes high mortality in the shell and for young chicks, therefore breeding silvers to silvers is not usually recommended and homogzyous silver is uncommon. It displays a nearly-white coloration over the entire body.

Silver can be nearly identical to the andulsian, lavender, and blau mutations, as all three have a wide range of grey colors. All three are also mixed in the Schofield Silver Collection.  The best way to tell them apart is by their genetic background and their offspring. There is also some speculation that silver and andalusian are actually the same mutation, just selectively bred for slightly different looks. 

Called Silver on all base forms. 

FS in hetero form

NFS in Homo form


Locus: unknown

Autosomal, incomplete dominant. 

Homozygous blau (also called blue) is almost completely white, with a slight off-grey coloration. Beaks and eyes will be completely dark and there may be very light grey coloration around the eyes.

Heterozygous blau shows an extremely similar phenotype to hetero silver and lavender on Pharaoh bases and a fairly similar phenotype on EB bases. The bird could be varying shades of blue/grey, from light grey/whitish color, to a dark, almost brown shade. The same parents will also thrown a wide range of color variation to their offspring.  However, on a Fawn base,  it will appear and orangish color and less of a blue shade, making it easier to determine if it is Blue or Silver. In no forms will it have the white primary feathers typical to the hetero silver unless white -winged pied or tuxedo dilutions are present on the bird. 

Blau is one of the mutations mixed into the Schofield Silver Collection, along with Lavender, Silver, and Andulusian. There are slight phenotypical difference but the best way to tell them apart is by their genetic background and tracking their offspring. 


Called Blue/Blau on all bases.

FS on Fawn and Wildtype bases

NFS on EB bases

Pictures needed


Locus: mi, Gene: MITF

Autosomal, incomplete dominant. 

Homozygous andulusian is phenotypically identical to homo silver, with the bird appearing as a light cream/grey coloration, almost completely white. The same health issues with silver have also been reported in andalusian--high chick and embroyo mortality, with few surviving until adulthood. 

In heterogyzous form, the bird could be any shade of blue or silver, from nearly white to a dark grey. White wingtips and breast feathering is common in hetero form though the bird does not carry any white dilutions. Andulusians often have feathers or patches of feathers that remain the original base color or close to the original base color, which makes it easier to separate from Silvers. 

Andulusian is one of the mutations mixed into the Schofield Silver Collection, along with Lavendar, Silver, and Blau. There are slight phenotypical differences but the best way to tell them apart is by their genetic background and tracking their offspring. There is also some speculation that silver and andalusian are actually the same mutation, just selectively bred for slightly different looks. 


Called Andulusian on all bases.

FS on Fawn and Wildtype bases

NFS on EB bases

Pictures needed


Locus: unknown

Sex-Linked Dominant

Sandy is very phenotypically similar to Oz Snowy dilutions on Pharoah base. Both are extremely common in Australia and most birds not from "clean" breeders likely have both mutations. It is not common at all in the United States or UK, though it is available. 

The Australian phenotype is different than those found in the UK and US. In the UK, Sandy presented similar to Snowy, with a very light, peach colored look. Sandy in Australia-- the most common and original form-- is darker, an ashy grey/brown color with very little red. Birds from both lines have been labeled above.

The Australian version acts similar to Fee in that it removes most of the colored overtones. A clean sandy will be entirely greyish, with more brown overtones than fee, with black patterning and no sign of red anywhere on the bird. The original pattern will be clearly visible. The wings will also appear more of a grey color than the rest of the body. 

Sandy is also sex-linked, so when bred with clean Pharaohs, it is possible to be able to tell male from female at hatch. 

Called Sandy on all base forms. 

FS on Wildtype and Fawn bases

NFS on EB bases

White Winged Pied

Locus: S. Gene: EDNRB2

Autosomal Codominant

In homozygous form, White Winged Pied (WWP) will present with an almost entirely white bird, with only a strip down the back that is the original color. The face, breast, and wings will all be white-- much more than is seen in tuxedo. As the bird ages, it will gain more white feathers all over its body. 

In heterozygous form, the bird will have white wing tips, and may also have white breast plumage and a white face. There may be as little as a single white primary feather, or the majority of the bird may be white-- there is no pattern and no "ideal" white-winged pied standard. 

Silver and Andalusian mutations can also have white wingtips--this doesn't mean they have to have WWP unless they have a second dilution. If offspring appear off-white instead of pure white, it is not WWP but rather just Silver/Andalusian. 

Called White-Wing Pied in hetero and homozygous forms, often mistaken for "Tuxedo", though this is incorrect. 

FS on Wildtype and Fawn bases

NFS on EB bases


Locus: S 

Autosomal Recessive

In homozygous form, Splash is identical to a heavily-marked hetero White Winged Pied. The bird will have white wings, white face, and white breast feathers. The back of the bird will remain the underlying base pattern, and there will often be a spot on the back of the head in hetero form. As with progressive pied, the bird will get more and more white with each molt. 

In heterozygous form, the bird will not appear to have any white whatsoever, and will look like it is not carrying the mutation. 

The mutation is often misidentified as White-Winged Pied, and was only recently discovered by Tamara Roswell with Kamilah Quail in Australia. Splash is different from White Winged Pied and Dotted White in that there is no form (hetero or homo) that will produce an all-white bird or a bird with just a few white feathers. There also is no heterozygous form. 

Called Splash in all forms. 

Can be feathersexable by masks

Progressive Pied

Locus: S (suspected)

Incomplete Dominant 

In heterozygous form, Progressive Pied is unique in it's feathering in that in it starts with minimal, almost no white in the bird, and as it matures, the birds gradually get more and more white feathers throughout the body. The ideal bird will have an even distribution of white feathers all across the body, with the most white starting at the neck and head area. 

The homozygous form presents the same patterning as the heterozygous form, with white feathers across the body, however there will be noticeably more white on the homozygous form than heterozygous. Adult birds with homozygous Progressive Pied will be almost completely white. 

Progressive Pied is not available in Australia, but can be found in the United States, Germany, and UK. It is considered uncommon in the US, though it could be because it is often confused for other white mutations. 

It can be feather sexable depending on the amount of white on the bird. 

Dotted White

Locus: S. Gene: EDNRB2


In homozygous form (English White), there is no coloring on the wings or breast. There may be no coloring at all on the bird, however, the bird still maintains one of the five base patterns underneath the white and this comes through in the small patch of color that can sometimes be found on the back of the head, or seen in offspring. There will often also be a small patch of color on the back unless it is bred for no color. White will breed true in homozygous form. 

In heterozygous form, white is considered a tuxedo. Tuxedos are birds with typical plumage base patterns with one or more completely white feathers, usually seen on the chin, breast, or wing feathers. There can be as little as a single white feather, or as much as the whole breast. 

The main difference between dotted white and WWP is the amount of natural colored feathering in homozygous form. Dotted white will usually have very few colored patches while WWP will have a stripe of color down the back even in homozygous. 

Homozygous form: English White (NFS)

Heterogyzous form: Tuxedo (FS)


Locus: S. Gene: EDNRB2

Autosomal Recessive

In homozygous form, Panda appears almost as a homozygous English White, with white on the face, breast, wings, and back, and patches of the original patterning coming through. However, it is subtly different in that it has two distinct patches of coloration coming through: one at the back of the head and neck, and another on the back. There will also be a larger patch on the back. 

In heterozygous form, the bird will not appear to have any white whatsoever, and will look like it is not carrying the mutation, as it is recessive.

This mutation was originally discovered in a Japanese laboratory, and though it was possibly available to the public at some point, it is uncertain how common it is, or in what countries. What was thought to be Panda and sold as such originally in the US and UK was later determined to be het. Dotted white, which is not recessive. 

Called Panda in homozygous form


Locus: AL. Gene: Unknown-- Peliotropic,

Sex-linked (laboratory) and autosomal (public), both recessives.

There are two forms of albino: sex-linked and autosomal. Sex-linked recessive albino has been officially documented in laboratories, but all tested public lines have been found to be autosomal recessive. 

Albino is different than English whites in that the eyes are red from an absence of pigment. The entire body is white, with no signs of color. Albinos typically have a high mortality and deformity rate, as the albinism not only changes the color of the eye, but the inner workings of the eye itself. They tend to be very sensitive to light in mild cases and completely blind or missing eyes in extreme cases. Albinism also tends to affect hearing and sense of smell, but the extent of it in quail is unknown. 

Because of this, albinos are not often kept for breeding purposes, however as a recessive gene it doesn't show any signs in heterozygous form and tends to pop up in Silver lines. It is also not uncommon in Cinnamon breeding lines, though they do share the same locus. Albino is a completely separate mutation from Cinnamon, though they do have similar traits. 

Called albino in all forms.  

Not feather sexable in any homozygous form


Locus: BR (Suspected)

Sex-Linked Recessive

This gene is part of the Super Secret Suprise Collection released by both Thieving Otter Farm and Southwest Gamebirds in November of 2023. It was discovered by Michael Rose with Southwest Gamebirds in his Roux collection. ​

It presents almost phenotypically identical to Roux in that it dilutes the entire bird to be a light rust color. However, Ginger is noticeably lighter when presented side-by-side with Roux and gives a more orange coloration compared to the red Roux. No other major differences between Roux and Ginger have been confirmed.

It is sex-linked recessive and believed to be on the same gene and locus as Roux, but more testing is being done by Southwest Gamebirds as of 2023. It is believed to present like Silver and Andalusian: two very simular but separate mutations on the same gene and locus, but with slightly different phenotypes. 



If more than just the color of a bird has been changed, consider the following enhancer genes that also change the pattern. 

Enhancers are similar to dilutions in that they can interact with different base patterns. However, they can change the pattern along with the color.

*I personally consider an enhancer to be a mutation that affects feather pattern and color. Several of these mutations are not formally classified as enhancers, or anything at all, but I believe they fit into this category. These mutations will be marked with an asterisk.* 


Locus: unknown 

(Not E, strong possiblity of Y). 

Autosomal, incomplete dominant. 

Calico was classified for a long time as recessive, though a very faint heterogyzous form was identified and it is now classified as autosomal incomplete dominant. 

In hetero form, it looks almost identical to it's Pharaoh counterpart, and can be very hard to detect. The bird will be slightly lighter in color and have more exaggerated "eye" patterning on the feathers. Striatations on the back will tend to be wider, and the breast on females will have less spotting and be a whiter color. 

In homo form, the bird is obviously different and is a much lighter tan color. The stripes on the back will be wider and more prominent off the back stripes. 

On EB bases, Calico presents as almost a sparkly-based pattern, with heavier dark black barring on the breast and back. 

Called Calico on all base forms. 

FS so far on all base forms tested. 


Locus: E. Gene: MC1R

Autosomal, incomplete dominant. 

Sparkly is usually considered an "enhancer" mutation, where it affects more of the pattern of the bird then the color of the patterning itself, making the base pattern more striking. 

For Pharaoh and Fawn Base:

In hetero form,sparkly birds will have almost the same back patterning, except the chest will have vertical lines and barring across the whole breast, even for males. The patterning itself is almost the same, with the black barring made slightly more obvious. 

In homogyzous form, the entire bird will be barred and all feathers will have several stripes on it. The breast will have  complete barring and all feathers will carry similiar patterning. Dark colors are exaggerated even more than in hetero form. 

For EB Base:

Sparkly will look almost identical to Fawn Enhancement. Bird will appear lighter and tend to have more yellow barring across the feathers. 

Called Sparkly in all forms. 

FS in hetero form

NFS in Homo form


Locus: E. Gene: MC1R

Autosomal Incomplete Dominant

Pansy has some controversy due to the recent developments in phenotype detection.  It was recently proven that Pansy has a faint heterozygous phenotype, changing the classification from Autosomal Recessive to Autosomal Incomplete Dominant. 

In homo form, the bird will display mostly black feathers with yellow edges and red tinges. The mask will be a reddish color in males and a typical fawn mask for females. 

In heterozygous form, barring on back and wing plumage (for wildtype) is accentuated and slightly more prominent. On fawn bases, back plumage will be more heavily marked than typical fawn. 

Also called Ropftkof or Red-head quail, though it is uncertain if these apply to all pansies or just those on a Pharaoh base. Some also believe Ropfkof are a different variety altogether, though this is unlikely. 

Called Pansy on all base forms. 

FS in all known forms

Fawn Enhancement

Locus: Y + EB

Because Fawn and EB are on different loci, they can both exist on the same bird. The four bases can exist independantly--ie. a bird can be Manchurian without any Tibetan or Tibetan without Manchurian-- but the fawn and EB bases can also exist on the same bird, at the same time. 

The E locus is dominant, so a bird with both EB and Fawn (for example, a Manchurian crossed with a Tibetan) will look almost completely like a Tibetan, but will be a few shades lighter and have yellow striation in their feathers. This is called Fawn-Enhancement.

Fawn is incomplete dominant in this case, so it can never be hidden and is visible in all forms, which makes it easier to breed out than SLB or other mutations. This is usually not preferable in genetics breeding because it can lead to complications as Fawn Enhancement changes the feather patterns slightly and makes calculating the outcomes of crossings much more difficult. 

Not FS on any forms, always called Fawn-Enhanced. 



Last but certainly not least, these are other mutations that weren't included above and don't fit into well defined categories. 

These are patterns or base that don't fit into the normal "base" and "dilution" categories because of how they interact or because of the limited knowledge and research that is available. 

Recessive White

Locus: S


Recessive white is a fairly controversial color, with some people arguing that it is simply a form of Dotted White. Recently it has become fairly accepted in quail genetics as more is being discovered about White mutations in general, but it gets classified as "other" because of this uncertainty. 

Recessive white is said to be the only all-white mutation, with the bird not having any color patches or dots anywhere on the body. In heterozygous form, the mutation is hidden and there is no white anywhere on the bird. In homogzyous form, there is no color anywhere on the bird, and the bird is entirely white. 

It is also possible that the mutation is not on the S allele, and actually exists on another locus. More research needs to be done on Recessive White to confirm existence, phenotype, and locus of the mutation. 

Called Recessive White on all forms. 

Not feather sexable in any form. 


Locus: Y, Gene: ASIP

Base, recessive

Recessive Black, not to be confused with extremely dark Tibetan, is its own mutation. The black recessive gene is NOT available to the public right now, and very little is known about it. For this reason, I've categorized it as an "other" instead of a base. 
True recessive black is not actually "black" and looks very similar to Rosetta or Tibetan, though it has no brown pigment in their feet or legs. It is also  believed to affect the Y locus, and be a variation on the fawn base. 

The black lines available to the public right now are not true recessive black, but rather Tibetan with fee dilution (very dark Grau Fee) and other unknown mutations, causing them to look entirely black, including their eyes, feather patterns, and legs. There are several well-established lines of this Fee-Black in the United States and in other countries as well. 

Likely feather sexable. 

Called Recessive Black in all forms. 

Lethal Yellow

Locus: Y,  Gene: ASIP+ deletion of RALY and EIF2B

Autosomal Dominant

Lethal Yellow (LY) is an under-researched mutation in Coturnix. It is uncertain just how prevalent it is outside of laboratory conditions as without strict record keeping, it is extremely hard to trace or identify. It is possible that it does not exist outside of a lab setting. Lethal Yellow is not currently believed to be associated with inbreeding or specific strains of Fawn-- it is not like Lethal Silver and doesn't randomly pop up in lines. Birds will either carry the hetero form or not, and it cannot be hidden. 


In hetero form, it appears similar to a Manchurian, with little to no patterning on the back. Exact coloration is described as "wheat-straw" coloration. Birds will tend to be smaller than wildtype and non-lethal yellow birds, display slower growth rates, and colder body temperatures. 

In homogyzous form, it is completely lethal and all embryos die in the shell. It is not possible to have a homogyzous lethal yellow bird alive. 

This mutation is also thought to be similar to lethal yellow gene in mice and mortality is caused by a deletion of the RALY and EIF2B loci, which is believed to control skin tissue. 


Locus: Unknown, Gene: Unknown

Recessive, unknown if it is Autosomal or Recessive

Strawberry is a new mutation discovered in 2022 in Australia by Tamara Roswell. It is considered a dilution, but more information and research is needed before it will be moved to the "dilutions" category. 

It comes from the Oz lines in Australia, and is confirmed recessive, though is unknown if it is sex-linked or not. It presents very similar to the UK version of Oz Sandy and the US version of Cinnamon, with an extremely light, almost peach-colored bird. Not much else is known about Strawberry, though it is only available in Australia and tends to pop up in Calico lines. 

Texas A&M

Texas A&M quail are no longer in existence.

Often confused with English White (homo White mutation), they were originally the first line of jumbo white quail created by the Texas A&M university. They were bred for egg production and large size, but the project was abandoned because the line suffered so many  health issues and defects.

The name has stuck with the jumbo line of white quail, but these are NOT true Texas A&M quail. 

Any lines currently claiming to have "Texas A&M Quail" are inaccurate and often just are regular English Whites bred to a large size. 


There is one credible line that can be traced back to this original A&M stock (Stellar Gamebirds), however it is still two lines removed and very selective with breeding. For all other intents and purposes, true Texas A&M can be considered extinct. 


Locus: RU, Gene: RU*R + RU*N

Autosomal Recessive

Rusty is a fairly recent mutation discovered in a laboratory. It presents extremely similarly to Roux, and keeps the base patterning the same while making the color appear a light orange. The difference between Roux and Rusty is that Rusty has a slate grey undercolor, where Roux will be red from the top of the feather to the bottom. Rusty is also not sexlinked, though it is recessive like Roux, and is instead on the newly titled "RU" locus. It is uncertain what other dilutions are on the RU locus or what it can and can't interact with. 

It is placed here because it is uncertain how common Rusty is in the United States. It is possible that it only exists in the laboratory, or it could be extremely common in backyard flocks and just assumed to be Roux because of the similarities. It is also possible that "rusty" birds are also a combination of Roux, SLB, or different phenotypes of known mutations. Further testing is being done and documented. 

Sexable on Pharoah and Fawn bases, NFS on EB bases. 

Called Rusty on all bases. 

Feather Textures

Non-Color mutations

These are mutations that change the feather or bird itself, not the color. 

These are things that can change anything from the egg color to the feather texture but do not actually change the color of the feather or the pattern of the feather itself. All of the below mutations can appear on any base/mutation combinations above. 


Locus: CE

Autosomal, recessive

The celadon gene is completely independent of phenotypes. Therefore, any form of base patterns, dilutions,or enhancers can carry the celadon gene. The celadon gene affects the color of the eggs that a hen lays-- it will tint the outer shell a light blue color (shells could still have speckled patterning). It does not affect feather pattern at all. 

Hens must be homozygous celadon to lay blue eggs, and a hen will always lay blue her entire life. (If a hen suddenly lays very light egg, this is NOT a sign of the celadon gene but rather a laying anomaly that can happen. 

Heterogyzous forms and roosters will not have any detectable differences if they carry the ce gene, so it can only be determined with strict breeding programs and pedigrees. Hens hetero for celadon will not have any detectable differences in their egg color.

A line is only considered to be "true" when all birds and all offspring have been proven to lay only blue eggs (meaning 100% of parents and offspring are homo celadon). This usually takes 3+ generations to be sure. 

There is also recent a theory set forward that the celadon gene in homozygous form is linked to an inability to absorb nutrients. Multiple breeders have come forward with the same issues through unrelated lines, though more research is needed to confirm or refute it. 


Locus: FR

Incomplete Dominant 

True frizzle has been found, where in heterozygous form (the usual form for frizzle) the central shaft (the hard part) of the quail's feathers grow backwards, causing the feathers to curl backwards. This is different than curly in that the feathers will curl the wrong way instead of just not sitting flat or giving a ruffled appearance. This is the same for chickens. 

Frizzle in homozygous form, similar to in chickens, throws a phenotype called "frazzle", where feathers grow in without barbs in an extremely painful way. Birds with frazzle that make it to hatch--many die in the egg--have a low quality of life and are usually hard culled. 


Frizzle has been previously thought to exist in backyard flocks as a similiar version of curly-- where the feathers were merely "ruffled"-looking and not truely curled backwards-- and just more prominently than curly. It has since been decided that this was likely just a variation on curly and not truely frizzle as there were no health effects. 

More documentation would be prefered. 


Locus: Unknown

Autosomal, recessive

Curly is a completely separate mutation from frizzle. It causes the feathers to sit differently on the bird. However, the curly mutation doesn't affect the base of the feathers as much, and the affect is much more subtle. The quills of the feather themselves tend to be thicker, stiffer, and curl outwards. The ends are easily damaged due to them not sitting flat, which can give a scruffier appearance. This is a completely natural occurrence, and birds will have the appearance from hatch. Unlike ruffled feathers from mating, birds will not lose the scruffy appearance after molts, outside of breeding season, and the entire body will be affected with more focus on the back. 

Curly has been linked to bigger growth and bone structure in birds, and birds will be measurably bigger after week two.


This mutation is not caused by a vitamin or nutrient deficiency, and is not linked to any health issues. There also is no issues  breeding curly x curly.  

Curly can be paired with any colors and dilutions without issues, and though it's locus is unknown, it is likely not on any color loci. 


Locus: Unknown

Autosomal recessive (it has been proposed Autosomal incomplete dominant, but not proven or backed up)

Tufted quail are extremely rare, though it is in public hands. There has only been one paper written about it, and there is no breeder publically offering tufted quail. Therefore, very little is known about it, though it has been observed in backyard flocks. The mode of inheritance is based off the single study, and has not been confirmed by breeders. 

Tufted birds appear similar to their chicken counterparts, where there are one or two feathers that appear sideways from the bird's face and cheeks. Feathers on only one side of the face, feathers on the chin (forming a beard-like look) and feathers on the top of the head have all been reported, though it isn't known if these are all the same mutations or series of closely related but different feather types. 

It has been somewhat corresponding to a change in skeletal and skull structure, and there has been some research that suggests that it affects the shape of the ear as well. How extensive these changes are and whether or not they affect the health of the bird isn't well known. 

So far, it is believed that the tufted mutation can be paired with any color or other feather mutation.


This is a database with more pictures of different angles, comparison photos, and birds with multiple dilutions. Each picture is labelled with the sex, base, and overlaying dilutions, and has been verified by both myself and breeders listed to be as accurate as possible. Click on the picture to see this information about each bird. All photos are property of Pips 'n Chicks and/or any person/entity listed and can not be used without  proper permission and accreditation. 

Italian Hen

Hetero ASIP (Italian Base)

Italian Tuxedo

Hetero ASIP (Italian Base) Hetero Dotted White

Grau Fee rooster

Hetero EB (Rosetta) Homo fee

Falb Fee Rooster

Pharaoh Hetero Fee


Pharaoh base Hetero Blue dilution Hetero dotted white

Pharaoh (M), Hetero Fee (M) Homo Fee (FM).JPG

Closest: Pharaoh (M), Middle: Hetero Fee (FM), Farthest: Homo Fee (M)

Pharaoh (M), Hetero Fee (FM), Homo Fee (M)

Left: Pharaoh (M), Middle: Hetero Fee (FM), Right: Homo Fee (M)

Pharaoh (M), Hetero Fee (FM), Homo Fee (M)

Left: Pharaoh (M), Middle: Hetero Fee (FM), Right: Homo Fee (M)

Het. Fee (L), Homo. Falb Fee (R)

Left: Pharaoh base Homo Fee Right: Pharaoh base Homo fee

Falb Fee Rooster (front) Falb Fee hen (back)

Both: Pharaoh base Homo Fee

Female Pharaoh (L), Male Pharaoh (R)

Left: Pharaoh base SL Brown dilution Right: Pharaoh Base

Female Pharaoh

Pharaoh base No dilutions


Unknown Base Hetero Andalusian

Pearl Fee Hen

Hetero ASIP (Italian base) Homo Fee

Pearl Fee hen

Hetero ASIP (Italian Base) Homo Fee

Fawn-Based Pansy Rooster

Fawn-based Pansy Rooster

Fawn-based Pansy Hen

Fawn-based Pansy Hen

Scarlet Tuxedo

Tibetan Base Homo Roux Hetero dotted white

Scarlet Tuxedo

Tibetan Base Homo Roux Hetero dotted white

Clean Pharaoh (L), SL Brown Pharaoh (R)

Clean Pharaoh rooster (L) SL Brown Pharaoh rooster (R)

Het. Blue on Fawn Base from Quail Kawaii

ASIP base (Fawn) Het. Blue dilution From Quail Kawaii

Het. Blue Italian from Quail Kawaii

Het. ASIP base (Italian) Het. Blue dilution from Quail Kawaii

Het. Blue Pharaoh from Quail Kawaii

Pharaoh Base Het. Blue Dilution From Quail Kawaii

Het. Blue Pharaoh from Quail Kawaii

Pharaoh Base Het. Blue Dilution from Quail Kawaii

Blue Rosetta

Het. EB base (Rosetta) Het. Blue dilution from Quail Kawaii

Homozygous Sparkly on Fawn

Homozygous Sparkly, het. Fawn Photo credits to Shelly Elliot Bird hatched from Theiving Otter Farms

SLB+Het. Pansy Rooster

Pharaoh base Het. Pansy Possible SLB Bird from Mike Hudgins

Italian Based het Fee. Sparkly

Het. Fawn Het. Fee Homozygous Sparkly Bird and photo from Rebecca Lynch at Thieving Otter Farms

Rosetta Based Sparkly1

Het. EB Homozygous Sparkly Bird and photo from Rebecca Lynch at Thieving Otter Farms

Rosetta Based Sparkly

Het. EB Homo. Sparkly Bird and photo from Rebecca Lynch at Thieving Otter Farms

Italian Based Sparkly Rooster1

Het. Fawn (ASIP) Homo Sparkly Male Bird and photo from Rebecca Lynch at Thieving Otter Farms

Italian Based Sparkly

Het. Fawn Homo. Sparkly Male Bird and photo from Rebecca Lynch at Thieving Otter Farms

Splash Hen

Bird and photo from Tamara Roswell at Kamilah Quail

Splash Hen

Bird and photo from Tamara Roswell at Kamilah Quail

Splash Hen on Fawn

Bird and photo from Tamara Roswell at Kamilah Quail

Homozygous Calico, homozygous SLB, Homozygous Fee, Rooster

Bird and photo from Steffi Brammer, Germany.

Hemizygous SLB, Heterozygous FEE, homozygous Calico, Hen

Bird and photo from Steffi Brammer, Germany.

Hemizygous SLB, homozygous Calico, hen

Bird and photo from Steffi Brammer, Germany.

Homozygous fee + homozygous calico, hen

Bird and photo from Steffi Brammer, Germany.

homozygous Calico + heterozygous Fee, hen

Bird and photo from Steffi Brammer, Germany.

Fawn Enhanced Rosetta

Fawn Enhanced Rosetta Bird and photo from Martin Yardley

Pharaoh, het. Fawn, homo. Fawn

Pharaoh, het. Fawn, homo. Fawn Bird and photo from Martin Yardley

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