AUS Varieties & mutations

The difference being, a "variety" is a strain that continues to display the mutation, which may otherwise occur a single time.


Showed up in January 2022.

Aphyosemion australe Chocolate/Brown form


The "aquarium strain" chocolate or brown form has been in the hobby for about 100 years.

"Aphyosemion australe, the chocolate or natural form is probably my favorite killifish. I have maintained this species almost continuously since the inception of the AKA and never tire of it. As coordinator of the Aphyosemion australe (chocolate) group of the Killifish Conservation Committee I have been working with a number of persons maintaining this fish for long periods. The coloration of Aphyosemion australe is quite variable and it has been noted some of the wild specimens tend to be lighter in color than the so called "aquarium" strains. The aquarium strain is often bred for dark coloration." - Harry Specht, 2003.

Aphyosemion australe Gold


Introduced by the Finnish breeder Hjerreson in the 1950's, thought to be line bred from the chocolate form. Chocolate ones seem to be bred for dark coloration by hobbyists and the species is variable. It's not inconceivable to think Hjerreson selected for light, not dark individuals and/or had a mutated fish show up with reduced pigmentation. Either or both of these could possibly explain it.

Red form of Aphyosemion australe


Developed in thee US by Bob Schwigerath in the 1980s the fish exhibited areas of red on the body but this trait was never stabilized. Red AUS are descendants of these fish that carry a gene for enhanced red, still visible in the unpaired fins.



"Schwarzflossee" is a Dutch word meaning black fins. It is a name that has been applied to a strain of australe with darker fins than the normal chocolate strain. It is a robust, prolific, and attractive aquarium strain of australe." - Lee Harper

"One popular strain has been developed by Ruddiger Schafer of Germany through line breeding and is called "Schwarzflosse". It is a very dark chocolate color with a blue-black color in the caudal fin. It is a most striking fish and quite desirable." - Harry Specht



Gold australe but with no red spots.

Striped Aphyosemion australe


Charlie Drew has been raising orange australe since 1970 and at one point had these fish with even rows of dots. He was never able to get these to breed true and they died out.

There is a photo of a similar fish taken from the Polish Wikipedia.

Also, the GLP 06/01 population seems predisposed to showing even straight rows of red dots.

Axanthicform of Aphyosemion australe


This occurs very infrequently; as as of 2005 nobody has been able to fix the strain.

Copyright 2022
Richard J. Sexton