By John Fowler
The ringneck dove color we know as Tangerine can be rather confusing and sometimes difficult to identify. Note the four photos (picture links below); all of which would be called Tangerine. They are all four, very different.
Photo 1 is of a non-Rosy Tangerine hen. Notice the absence of the mauve head and breast and note the light grey neck ring. This is a True Tangerine, in that it is absent the visual rosy found when the rosy gene is homozygous in combination with tangerine. Photo 2 is the True Tangerine male. Notice the tangerine suffusion on the mauve head of the male tangerine when the rosy gene is either absent or heterozygous. This dimorphic or dichromatic effect is consistent in the male and female when the rosy gene is either absent or heterozygous.
Photo 3 is of Rosy Tangerine. The bird in this photo is homozygous rosy in combination with Tangerine. When rosy is homozygous the result is a rosy head and breast in both males and females. The dimorphism is evident only when the rosy gene is absent or heterozygous.
Photo 4 (the ideal for Tangerine) is with white flights and a white neckring. This bird is homozygous for Tangerine and there is no Tangerine Modifier gene (which causes the pearling) present. I now refer to this color as "Tangerine ++" to indicate the absence of the Modifier gene and thus the solid color tangerine.
The white neckring and white flights in all Tangerine is a result of the Tangerine gene being homozygous. Homozygous Tangerine in the absence of the Modifier gene results in a bird similar in color to Photo 4 (solid tangerine) with white ring and white flights. Homozygous Tangerine with homozygous Modifier results in Tangerine Whiteback. Homozygous Tangerine with heterozygous Modifier results in Tangerine Pearled. The Modifier is quite variable in expression and thus selection becomes critical in producing the birds one may desire. All Tangerine, Tangerine Pearled, or Tangerine Whiteback with white neck ring and white flights are homozygous Tangerine.
The below is not a part of the article, but just to give you the photo source. Use your browser's "back" button to return here.
Photo 1 - Tangerine sans rosy (Wade Oliver)
Photo 2 - True Tangerine Male (John Fowler)
Photo 3 - Tangerine 18FG02 (Fanch Gourves)
Photo 4 - Tangerine 2 (John House)