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Good comets seem to be rare these days, having been more popular 10-20 years
ago; not many are presented at shows now. Comets need pointed tail lobes, as
in an open pair of scissors, and the tail and its carriage are the most important
features of the type. They are fast swimmers and do well in ponds.
Comets were probably first produced in USA (or possibly in Europe). They are
known as swallowtails in the Far East.
The comet standard is as follows:
- Depth of body to be approximately 35% of body length.
- Caudal fin to be single, deeply forked and with pointed well spread lobes. The leading edge should ideally be 75% of body length.
- Dorsal and anal fins single, pectoral and pelvic fins paired and their extremities having a pointed appearance.
- At least 25% of the body to be blue in calico fish.
- Minimum body length to be 7.5 cm (3 inches).
The fish should be bright and alert. The body should be long and slender with a smooth outline. The caudal fin should be long, deeply forked, well spread without drooping or overlapping.
Metallic fish may be self-coloured (red, orange, yellow, blue, brown or black) or variegated (any combination of red, orange, yellow, blue, brown, black and white) in a pleasing pattern similar on each side. Quality fish will have high colour intensity and metallic shine extending into the fins.
Calico fish should have a blue background with patches of violet, red, orange, yellow, brown and white, spotted with black. Quality fish should have a high intensity of colour evenly distributed over the body, with colour, especially black, extending into the fins.
Ideal profiles are illustrated below:
Mature adults, self-coloured red metallic
Red comet shown at BAS 2004.
Red comet shown at BAS 2001.
Breeder's team of four young red comets shown at BAS 2018 (photographs by Mário Barros).
Mature adults, self-coloured yellow metallic
Self-coloured metallic yellow comets are less common than reds. The top fish
was shown at BAS 2007, the centre fish at BAS 2004 and the bottom fish (the camera caught the fish with tail folded) at BAS 1999.
© Bristol Aquarists' Society