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Old 11-06-2011, 11:47 AM   #1 
Laki's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Dartmouth, NS

I was wondering, purely for curiosity and not because I'm getting any, how to tell what tail type you have in females? If all females have short tails how do you know if its HM or VT? Maybe am I just not on the right page here with everyone else? Also, how do you tell males from females? Ack!! All these wonders?!?
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Old 11-06-2011, 11:56 AM   #2 
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Newfoundland
it's really hard to tell with VT's, and that's mostly what we get around here. I think I might have a HM, but that's because her spawn papa was a HM. When it comes to really judging anything from a pet store, I can only assume VT.
Females have an egg spot, a small white dot on their belly between their two ventral? fins.

There is a nice list of differences between the different tail types stickied. Sadly it's not quite as helpful for females
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Old 11-06-2011, 12:08 PM   #3 
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
I believe it has something to do with the number of rays in a females tail as to what type she is.

Egg spot tells you if its female or male, and usually males have long flowing fins in petstores.
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Old 11-06-2011, 12:21 PM   #4 
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Indiana
Count the rays!! The rays are the little lines you can see running through their fins, veiltails always split once, while HM/Delta rays always split twice or more. Also, HM females will have a 180 degree spread to their tail, just like a male would. It can be difficult to tell the difference between VT and PK females, but usually veiltail females have a longer, more oval shaped tail while plakats have a shorter, wider, more square shaped tail =)

Here's my veiltail female, it's hard to tell because the photos are a bit dark but you can see the single splits in her rays.
Here you can see them on her pectorals:

and here you can see them in her caudal (tail). it's kinda dark, sorry
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Old 11-06-2011, 01:20 PM   #5 
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
VT and DT females are usually harder to tell apart. HMs are a bit easier but sometimes you can get them mixed up with PK or DT.
I can tell an HM from everything else because that's what I breed and I really don't need to look at the rest much.
For HMs you're pretty much looking for the same caudal qualities you look for in males. A female with a 180 caudal spread and straight caudal edges is a good HM. It's a little hard to count the number of rays so it's better to go with the spread until you get practice.
There was a good article on bettysplendens website about females and dorsal fins but I cannot access the website at the moment.
This is a great picture of a true HM female:
Notice the large number of rays on her caudal... she also has split rays in her dorsal which is something that you really want in a breeder female.
I see so many females on AB listed as HM that aren't true HMs, you need to know what you're getting and if you have questions, ask.
When breeding, is very important you look for the best female you can get your hands on... it's very easy to confuse them and end up with undesired tail types in your spawn.
And you SHOULD get a female! They are so much fun!
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Old 11-06-2011, 06:23 PM   #6 
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Dartmouth, NS
Thanks guys!! :D Very helpful. As I said, it was simple curiosity!! :D
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