Website Directory

Search TAS

Visitors since 2/28/2000

FastCounter by bCentral



Smokey Locus

Non-wild alleles at this locus at this locus:
Smokey (Sm)

Possible phenotypes:
Smokey (Sm/+), Chocolate (Sm/Sm)

Smokey (Sm/+)


The Smokey phenotype results from a single dose of the partially dominant Smokey mutation (Sm/+) at the Smokey locus. Angelfish with Smokey show dark pigmentation in the posterior usually starting in a vertical line around the middle of the dorsal fin. The coverage of the dark pigment can vary, in some cases being completely black while in other cases patches of background color can still be seen (these patches are often not symmetrical on each side of the angelfish). In the absence of gold pigmentation mutations (g, and Gm) the anterior portion of a Smokey angelfish will also often take on a grayish coloration

In some cases when the dark pigmentation shows almost complete coverage Smokey angelfish are sometimes mixed up with Half-Black angelfish. One simple way to tell between the two phenotypes is the pigmentation boarder, half-blacks will show a well defined straight line while Smokeys show a more diffuse non straight line. When Smokey is present in an angelfish that also shows Gold-Marble (Gm) the dark areas of the Gm mutation can sometimes be darker than the Smokey areas. This is particularly noticeable as the fish are exposed to light in the morning. As the Smokey pigmentation will sometimes fade when the fish is sleeping the Gold-Marble dark areas will not.

The Smokey phenotype is easily seen in even young fry starting at about 1 month of age. As the angelfish gets older the pigment will darken and coverage will increase. There is some evidence that the amount of light under which the fry are reared can effect the amount of coverage however at the time of this writeup there has been no conclusive study done.


Chocolate (Sm/Sm)


The Chocolate phenotype results from a double dose of the partially dominant Smokey mutation (Sm/Sm). Angelfish with Chocolate show dark pigmentation on the majority of their body, usually starting at the posterior edge of the gill plate. Similar to Smokey the overall coverage of the body can vary and in the absence of other pigmentation mutations the head of the angelfish can show a grayish coloration.

Chocolate angelfish can sometimes be confused with hybrid dark (D/g or Gm) or marble angelfish (M/M), particularly when the fry are young.

 Interacting Mutations
A number of other mutations can interact with the Smoky allele

Probably the most popular is the leopard angel, in which two smokey alleles and either one ore two zebra alleles are present.  The table below shows phenotypes that can be formed when combining smokey alleles with and non-wild alleles at the zebra/stripeless locus.  

PHENOTYPES resulting from Smokey + Zebra and/or Stripeless




Z/+, Z/Z

Smokey Leopard
Smokey Leopard




Smokey (ghost)*


Chocolate (ghost)*
Chocolate Ghost


Smokey Blushing


Chocolate Blushing
Chocolate Blushing


Smokey Leopard (ghost)*

Leopard (ghost)*

 *Although an angelfish with one allele for stripeless is called a “ghost,” no change in appearance occurs to either Smokey, Smokey Leopard, Chocolate, or Leopard with the addition of one stripeless allele.  Thus the phenotype for a Sm/+ - S/+  is in actuality still smokey.  

This next table shows the phenotypes that can be formed from combining smokey alleles and alleles from the dark locus.

PHENOTYPES resulting from Smokey Locus + Dark Locus





Smokey Lace

Chocolate Lace


Smokey Black


Chocolate Black

D/M, D/Gm, D/g

Smokey Hybrid Black

Chocolate Hybrid Black


Smokey Marble

Chocolate Marble

M/M, M/Gm, M/g

Smokey Marble


Smokey Marble


Smokey Gold Marble

Chocolate Gold Marble

Gm/Gm, Gm/g

Smokey Gold Marble

Chocolate Gold Marble





PHENOTYPES resulting from Smokey + Halfblack, Albino, Pearlscale, or Veil





Smokey Halfblack

Chocolate Halfblack


Albino Halfblack


Albino Chocolate


p/p Smokey Pearlscale
Chocolate Pearlscale
V/+ Smokey Veiled Chocolate Veiled
V/V Smokey Superveil Chocolate Superveil

 Pearlscale (p/p), and Veil (V/+) or Superveil (V/V) mutations to not effect the expression of Smokey (Sm/+) or Chocolate (Sm/Sm) phenotypes

Links to more information about the smokey locus
 Dr. Joanne Norton, FAMA: February 1985, Vol. 8, #2
Dr. Joanne Norton, FAMA: May 1989, Vol.12, #5

Approved by The Angelfish Society Standards Committee on February 11, 2007.