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:
The fish should be bright and alert with the caudal fin carried high without drooping or overlapping. The body should be long and slender with a smooth outline. Quality fish will have high colour intensity extending into the fins.
The colour may be metallic (self-coloured or variegated in a pleasing pattern and similar on each side) or calico. Metallic colours should appear as burnished metal, extending into the fins. Calico fish should have a blue background with patches of violet, red, orange, yellow and brown, spotted with black.
Ideal profiles are illustrated below:
Red comet shown at BAS 2004.
Red comet shown at BAS 2001.
Self-coloured metallic yellow comets are less common than reds. The top fish was shown at BAS 2008, the centre fish at BAS 2007 and the bottom fish at BAS 1999 (on the left - the camera caught the fish with tail folded) and 2004 (on the right).
© Bristol Aquarists' Society