OK, so here’s the lowdown on Spotted Snowflake Ocellaris Clownfish, and in this particular case, Booyah’s Buckshot®. Regardless of their name, all Snowflake Ocellaris are simply designer forms of Amphiprion ocellaris; Snowflakes were discovered in captivity years ago by Tropic Marine Center (TMC) in the UK.
First off, given the trade name, you can only get a “Booyah’s Buckshot®” from Mitch May…so clearly any “Spotted Snowflake” Ocellaris Clownfish offered here as a Booyah’s Buckshot will be produced by Mitch himself. “Booyah’s Buckshot®” are from a dark strain of Ocellaris, not unlike SA’s Fancy lineage, and “Booyah’s Buckshot®” are not intraspecific hybrids and should not be confused with Amphiprion Black Ice.
Second, there ARE many other breeders who get spotted patterning in some of their Snowflake Ocellaris Clownfish. They are sold by similar names, Spotted, Birdshot, Bullet Hole etc. But all are, genetically at their hearts, carrying the Snowflake gene, shorthanded as Sf.
Now, Snowflake is interesting. To summarize my current understanding, in short, Snowflake behaves as a dominant gene; simply having a single Sf/+ genetic state makes a fish a Snowflake Ocellaris. However, for reasons that aren’t clear, no one has ever produced evidence of a homozygous, aka. “double-dose” Snowflake. In fact, what little offspring counts have been hinted at suggests that the double-dose form, Sf/Sf, could in face be fatal.
Furthermore, no one is really clear on where we get “ultra” snowflakes with tons of white coverage, nor where these Spotted forms come from. My working hypothesis is that there is a spotted modifier gene; a gene that itself wouldn’t alter the appearance of a normal, wild type Ocellaris, but when present in conjunction with the Snowflake gene, it affects how the Snowflake gene expresses. This makes some sense based on confidential information I’ve seen regarding the parentage of various “spotted” Snowflakes out there.
If there is a modifier gene, then it’d be fair to say that any outwardly visible “Spotted” Snowflake must carry it. Could that modifier could be a recessive thing? Something where you you don’t see it in an F1 generation outcross, but then the next generation of Sibling X Sibling it shows back up at a 25% rate? Impossible to say; all I can do is speculate until some breeders come forth with data that first illustrates what actually happens, but then also allows for examination to see if typical patterns of genetic inheritance and expression start to emerge. Then again, this could simply be an environmentally influenced trait, or something that defies genetic understanding. You may not be able to breed for “Spotted Snowflakes” so much as simply having to “luck” into the right pair that produces them.
Regardless of the genetic mysteries, the fact remains that spotted Snowflake Ocellaris, particular rarer lines like Booyah’s Buckshot, represent some of the most interesting designer clownfish on the market today.