Definitions

color-phase

Color phase

In zoology, a color phase of an animal species is a group with similar coloring and markings. The predominant color phase within a population often corresponds with the overall color of the environment, as camouflage often provides a survival benefit. For example, the white color phase is likely predominate in arctic regions. However, a brown color phase of the same species predominate in a heavily wooded area. Albinos should not be confused with white color phases. Also note that the word "phase" does not mean that animals change between color phases over their lives.

Examples

  • Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) − White, gray, and black.
  • American Black Bear (Ursus americanus) − Black, brown, cinnamon, tan, blonde, white ("spirit bear", which are not albino), and blue-grey ("glacier bear").
  • Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens): White and blue.
  • Freckled hawkfish (Paracirrhites forsteri): Light pink, brown, or olive color, with or without lighter streaks down the side of the body. Another color phase is deep maroon with yellow tail.

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