Colors – Mutations
The Lineolated Parakeet comes in many different colors, also known as mutations. There are two different series of mutations known as the Green Series and the Blue Series. Other variations of those mutations also exist and all will be described below.
Dark factors , expressed below as D (dark) or DD (double dark), add up (genetically-speaking) to create different, darker, color variations. E.g. A Normal Green bird has NO dark factors. A Dark Green (D Green) has one dark factor, and an Olive (DD Green) has two dark factors. The same trend is exhibited in the Blue series with Turquoise, Parblue Cobalt (D Turquoise), and Parblue Mauve (DD Turquoise), respectively.
Green Series birds are: Green (Normal; Wild color), D Green (Dark Green), DD Green (Olive) and Lutino.
Blue Series birds are: Turquoise, D Turquoise (Parblue Cobalt), DD Turquoise (Parblue Mauve), and Turquoise Ino (Creamino). There is no “true blue” in linnies and the Blue Series colors are considered parblue mutations. Since there is no true blue in the Lineolated Parakeet there is also no Albino mutation.
Greywings are variations of the Green and Blue Series mutations and they are represented in single factor and double factor. All greywing hens are single factor though they have the same color appearance (phenotype) as a double factor male. Cocks come in both single and double factor, where the dilution effect seen on a double factor male is more severe than a single factor male. Single factor greywing males will usually have some obvious dilution present on their wing area (primaries and secondaries).
Ino (Creamino and Lutino) greywings are rarely available, and have only been recently produced by breeders.
Several examples of the the Greywing color variations in Single Factor and Double factor:
Linnie Mutation Chart by Jennifer Pendleton
Females cannot be Double Factor, as is described in the text above.
Single Factor is often abbreviated as SF, and Double Factor as DF.
As a general rule, Europe has been breeding Lineolated Parakeets for much longer than the United States and there are several additional mutations in Europe that do not yet exist in the United States such as cinnamon and misty.
Genetic trait inheritance varies. “Blue” mutations are recessive to dominant green color. Ino (Creamino and Lutino) mutations are sex-linked. The Greywing mutation is sex-linked and incomplete dominant.
Birds can also be split to a mutation meaning that they carry the mutation, but do not express the color visually. When two split birds are bred together they have the possibility of producing the mutation visually in their offspring, if the parents carry the same type (color) split. Female linnies can only be split to turquoise (blue), while males can be split to turquoise (blue) and/or ino. Your bird may also have NO splits. Test breeding is the correct method to diagnose the presence of splits.
Several online Genetic Calculator Tools have been created and are used to virtually evaluate offspring mutation possibilities from test breeding.
Linnie Genetic Calculator Links
Recessive: A recessive trait will be masked by dominant traits unless the offspring inherits a copy of the recessive gene from BOTH parents.
Sex-Linked: The Ino genes are sex-linked and an ino split may only be carried by a male bird. To have an Ino phenotype the offspring must inherit one copy of the ino gene from EACH parent. This may happen, e.g. by breeding a Green split ino Male X Lutino Female. Greywing mutations are also sex-linked but in a different manner.
Incomplete Dominance: Incomplete dominance occurs in the Greywing mutation. Incomplete dominance basically refers to the expression of the phenotype. The main trait (Green, D Green, DD Green, Turquoise, … etc.) is not able to be fully expressed and the bird’s overall color appears mildly or largely diluted.
LPS Recommended Breeding Protocol
The Society strongly supports and encourages the proper breeding of Lineolated Parakeets with the following recommended breeding protocol:
All mutations: turquoise, ino, greywing should be paired with a green series mate (normal, d green or dd green) at least every other generation to keep the species strong.
Pairing red-eyed birds together (such as lutino and creamino) is NOT recommended.
According to European breeders, feather structure has been negatively impacted by the following pairings and they also are NOT advised: DD to DD and Greywing to Greywing.
“It’s Not Easy Being Green” Project
Newer, non-wild mutations (every color but Normal Green) have been largely expressed in United States Lineolated breeding programs. For this reason, the wild, normal green mutation is becoming more and more rare in the United States Stock. It is a goal of the LPS to propagate breeding of the wild color and to support a healthy stock of Normal Greens for strong breeding programs. Several members of the LPS have been delegated to head this program. You can read more about the “It’s Not Easy Being Green” Project by CLICKING HERE! (Page still under construction!)
Be sure to visit the Linnie Shop and order your Lineolated Parakeet Poster featuring photos of different color mutations of Lineolated Parakeets. It’s a beautiful poster and a great reference chart!