Telescope – metallic / butterfly tail


The telescope eye mutation was clearly established by the late 18th century, as evidenced by numerous examples in the Billardon de Sauvigny paintings. Clearly, telescope-eyed fish originated in China, it is thought from the Ryukin. Following this, telescope goldfish were then exported to other countries, including Japan. Traditionally, telescopes featured short, double tails, but more recently have been developed into longer-tailed varieties.

© Merlin Cunliffe 2016

@ Merlin Cunliffe 2016

Breed Development

The defining characteristic of all telescopes is their protruding eyes. There are several acceptable forms of telescope eyes, including dragon eye, globe eye, etcetera. The eyes must be matched.

In addition, butterfly telescopes are defined by the butterfly tail type, which, when viewed from above, strongly resembles the wings of a butterfly.

Metallic butterfly telescopes are fully metallic, and are acceptable in any metallic color pattern, including red, red & white, white, black, chocolate, blue, and etc.

Critical features are listed below;.

  • Body shape to be oval or circular like a fantail or ryukin when viewed from the side.
  • Body depth is ⅔ to 100% of body depth.
  • The tail is split from 2/3 to 100% of its’ length.
  • The tail length is at least 1/2 the body length.
  • The tail margin is generally square (like a veiltail), but may be slightly indented.
  • Anal fins should be paired and similar.
  • Dorsal fin to be upright and erect.
  • Viewed from above, when at rest, tail to spread outward at a minimum of 120 degrees???
  • Viewed from the side, top tail rays should be carried above the horizontal plane.
  • Telescope eyes should be symmetrical and proportionate. Pupils to face sideways or slightly forward, but not fully forward or upward.

Key deductions / write downs include the following;

  • Twisted tail lobes.
  • Twisted pectorals.
  • Fused tail fins.
  • Tail off-balance (to left or right) when viewed from above (swimming or at rest).
  • Anal fin protruding beyond outside tail edge.
  • Telescope eyes disproportional or asymmetrical
  • Bottom Sitting.
  • Tail Standing.


Maximum points awards are as follows;

Fin development and shape 25
Body Shape 20
Head shape, telescope eye symmetry & proportionality 25
Fin Color 10
Overall Condition 10
Deportment (viewed from side and top) 10

Fin development and shape

Dorsal Fin

Dorsal fin upright and erect

Dorsal fin not fully erect. 20
Dorsal fin has a rip, tear or an edge that abnormal 20
Tail Fin

Tail fins are matched and 2/3 to 100% split, at-rest spread viewed from above is greater than 150 degrees

Tail fins matched and ⅔ to 100% split, at-rest spread viewed from above is greater than 120 degrees, tail slightly indented 25-27
Tail fins matched and 50%-65% split. Spread less than 120 degrees. 22-25
Pectoral Fin

Pectoral fins are visible from above, matched and are straight or cup-shaped

Fins are twisted or corkscrew in appearance 20
Fins are not visible from above 20
Anal Fin

Two anal fins that are similar in appearance

One anal fin 20
Anal fin protrudes beyond outside tail base 20

Dorsal Fin, Tail Fin, Pectoral Fin and Anal Fin value are averaged for a final score.

Body Shape

Body shape similar to a Fantail, depth ⅔ to 100% the length 20
Body shape similar to a Ryukin, depth 2/3 to 100% the length 20
Body depth is not deep enough and described above 15

Head shape, telescope eye symmetry & proportionality

Top view of head is cone-shaped when considered independent of telescope eyes. Mouth is narrow from above. 25
Head is short, mouth too wide, or gill plates are short or twisted 20
Telescope eyes are the same size and shape, and appear appropriate in size for a given fish. 25
Telescope eyes are not in proportion to the overall fish (too large or too small), but are still symmetrical. 20
Telescope eyes are not symmetrical. 20

Fin Color*

Fin color patterns are all the same. 10
Fins have some colors that are matched, some are not 8
Coloration of fins is faded 7
  • Transluscent fins are acceptable

Overall Condition

Fish must be alert and active. All fins should open fully as the fish is observed throughout its full range of motion. Fish should not bottom sit excessively or head stand.


Tail should compress backward (but not curl under) while the fish is swimming forward, and then return to full spread when the fish is at-rest (when viewed from above). While swimming, the lower tail rays (on both tail halves) should curve gently throughout their length, and not kink or hinge when bent. Tail motion should be equal from left to right while the fish is swimming in a straight line, and should not “wag” excessively to the left or right disproportionately. When viewed from the side while swimming, the fish’s head should not trend upward or downward. From the side, preference will be given to fish whose top tail rays angle upward, rather than horizontally or downward.