As the popularity of keeping axolotls as pets continue to sky rocket we have noticed more and more people discover the beautiful looking mosaic axolotl resulting in a surge in the number of mosaic axolotl questions that we see each month.
Due to this, we have decided to publish our own guide going over all of the frequently asked questions about mosaic axolotls to try and help as many of our readers as possible.
Now, before going any further, we just want to say that the mosaic axolotl is one of the rarest axolotl colors so this does push their price tags right up.
It is not uncommon for a mosaic axolotl with a unique pattern and color set to fetch over $2000 with there being plenty of buyers to drive the price up even further.
As the majority of people reaching out about this axolotl color are doing it as they hope to add a mosaic to their collection, we just wanted to point that out although there are some considerably cheaper mosaic axolotl options available.
We have added our table of contents below to make it as easy as possible for our readers to skim the sections within the article and get to the information that they want as quickly as possible.
If you are seriously considering purchasing a mosaic axolotl then we would recommend that you at least skim the full article though.
What Is A Mosaic Axolotl?
A mosaic axolotl is a regular axolotl that undergoes a mutation during the embryo phase and is nothing to do with parthenogenesis as some people claim.
The result of the mutation while still just an embryo is an axolotl that can have to main axolotl colors making up the bulk of its body rather than a single solid color.
Depending on the colors, patterns, and if the mosaic axolotl is spread or split can result in some truly unique, one of a kind axolotls.
This is why mosaic axolotl that are of two contrasting colors and split directly down their middle can fetch as much as $2000 due to collectors being willing to pay a high premium to add them to their collection.
Due to mosaic axolotls being able to fetch such a high price tag, we have noticed an increase in the number of people trying to sell a vitiligo axolotl as a mosaic axolotl to pump the prices up but they are different.
In some situations, a mosaic axolotl that underwent the mutation while being an embryo can still look like a regular wild type axolotl too so you also have to factor this in.
How Do You Get A Mosaic Axolotl?
You get a mosaic axolotl by being very lucky as there are no known ways to trigger the required mutation in an axolotl embryo to make it a mosaic axolotl.
That said, some breeding pairs do seem to produce mosaic axolotls more frequently than others but they are still very rare with selective breeding not be able to trigger the mutation to make an axolotl mosaic either.
There are a number of theories in various communities based around breeding axolotls on how you are able to trigger the mutation in the embryo to increase the chances of a mosaic axolotl being produced but these are pure theories.
Some of them have already been debunked by science while others are downright dangerous.
The most experienced axolotl breeders in the world have made various posts on social media on how they are not able to consistently produce mosaic axolotls too.
With these people often making a large amount of money from their axolotl breeding and the high price tag potential of a mosaic axolotl, we would highly recommend that our readers take their word for it.
Are Mosaic Axolotls Rare?
Mosaic axolotls are currently the rarest type of axolotl color due to how their unique color and pattern is due to a mutation in the axolotl embryo that can’t be manipulated by humans to increase their production rate.
You then have to factor in how rare the mosaic axolotls with the more desirable patterns and colors are too as a large number of mosaic axolotls will end up with a standard color with slight variations on them.
We have seen some people claim that an axolotl embryo has a 0.001% chance to produce a mosaic axolotl but we are unable to confirm this.
This number may be taken from the 0.001% chance of a reptile egg producing a chimera color and pattern but mosaic axolotls and chimera reptiles are not created in the same way. Due to this, the chances and rarities of the two could be totally different to each other.
Even within mosaic axolotl, there are a number of different variables that can have a direct effect on their rarity.
For example, out of mosaic axolotls, the wild color is very common as one of the colors on the body but the majority of people who want a mosaic axolotl tend to want one with at least two rarer morph colors on the axolotl rather than the more common axolotl colors.
On top of that, a mosaic axolotl can have their color split horizontally or vertically split down the middle of spotted out all over its body too.
Are Mosaic Axolotls Natural?
The mutation in an axolotl embryo that creates a mosaic axolotl is totally natural meaning that mosaic axolotls are technically possible in the wild.
Due to there only being around 1000 wild axolotls left and the chances of a mosaic axolotl being so rare, the odds of seeing a natural, wild mosaic axolotl are microscopic.
We understand why so many people ask about axolotl with the mosaic patterns and colors being natural as some people have started to tinker with axolotl DNA recently.
This is why GFP axolotls that will glow under a uv black light are available now although the morality of their creation is a highly contested subject within axolotl keeping communities.
That said though, the creation process of a mosaic axolotl is totally natural and is not the result of a human tinkering with their DNA.
As we touched on earlier, some people have actually tried to make various tweaks to their pet axolotls environment to produce more mosaic axolotls but to date, all attempts have failed.
Do Mosaic Axolotls Have Health Issues?
Although an actual mosaic axolotl will usually be healthy, any children of a mosaic axolotl will often have a number of serious health problems.
These range from the babies of a mosaic axolotl being born without eyes to the systematic shut down of their essential organs. This is why most people who own mosaic axolotls will put their mosaic variant on a breeding ban.
Due to the creation process of a mosaic axolotl essentially being due to a genetic mutation allowing two eggs to fuse together at the embryo stage and a mosaic axolotl inheriting the DNA of both embryos, they can technically be at a higher risk of having health problems.
For example, if one of the embryos that fused is totally healthy but the other has a hertitable health issue, this will be passed to the mosaic axolotl.
This essentially doubles the chance of a mosaic axolotl having the health issues of a normal axolotl.
That said though, the majority of reputable axolotl breeders will take steps to ensure that the lineage of the axolotls they sell is free from the vast majority of hertitable health issues anyway.
How To Breed Mosaic Axolotls!
There are a huge number of theories on how you are able to breed a mosaic axolotl but they are all wrong. A mosaic axolotl is due to a mutation at the embryo stage causing two eggs to fuse together and it is a natural genetic alteration rather than a hertitable trait.
This means that all axolotl babies, regardless of their parents and lineage have an equal chance to produce mosaic axolotl babies.
This is why the price tags for mosaic axolotl is so high and very likely to stay high, if not increase even further over the coming years.
If you are a hobbiest looking for a pet axolotl then we would not actually recommend a mosaic axolotl as the money can be usually spent on much better things with most mosaic axolotls being purchased by wealthy collectors.
A common mistake that we have seen people make time and time again is to purchase their mosaic axolotl as an “investment” to try and actively breed them via selective breeding.
As we covered though, this is a waste of money as all axolotl have an equal chance of producing a baby with the mosaic mutation with there being no need for an axolotl with the mosaic mutation being in their lineage at all.
Mosaic Axolotl Color Combinations!
Mosaic axolotls can take their colors from any other possible axolotl color. This is why the majority of mosaic axolotls will usually be based around the more common axolotl colors.
That said though, if you do hit the jackpot and your axolotl produces a mosaic axolotl that pulls from the rare axolotl color morphs then you can sell the baby for thousands of dollars.
The axolotls with the mosaic mutation will usually pull from the same common color with some actually pulling both colors from embryos that would end up producing axolotls of the same color anyway.
If this occurs, this can result in a mosaic axolotl that looks like any other common colored axolotl. This is due to the term “mosaic axolotl” being used to describe an axolotl that has the mosaic mutation rather than their color or pattern.
That said though, on social media, the majority of the people that we see talking about the mosaics specifically use the term for the rarer colors and patterns.
This is due to the more unique looking mosaic axolotls always being the ones to get the most attention on social media and go viral.
How Much Is A Mosaic Axolotl?
A mosaic axolotl can fetch anywhere from $200 to $3000 depending on how the variables land.
For example, a axolotl with the mosac mutation that has two common colors with a marbled pattern will not be worth anywhere near as much as a split mosaic with two rare morph colors.
The amount of the mosaic effect on the axolotl’s body will also come into play when working out how much the axolotl is worth. For example, some mosaic axolotls can have a very small area of their body a different color to the rest of it detracting from the price.
On the flipside, the most expensive mosaic axolotl that we have ever seen sell was a split mosaic axolotl with the color split being down the middle of its body with a relatively even split between speckled lavender on one side and copper on the other.
Due to the axolotl having an even split between two relatively rare colors, it was able to fetch a price tag of $4750 but it is very rare that a mosaic axolotl will fetch over $3000.
Marbled Vs Split Mosaic Axolotls!
The mosaic effect of axolotls can form in two ways, the first and most common is marbled with the mosaic effect having spots of the two colors all over the axolotls body.
The second and usually most desirable by collectors is a split where the axolotl is essentially split either vertically between the left and right side of its body or horizontally between the bottom and top in two different colors.
Just like all reptiles and amphibians, a split mosaic axolotl with a verticle split running from its head to the tip of its tail will always fetch a much higher price tag than anything else.
A partial vertical split with two rare colors can still fetch a high price tag though but the other variants of a mosaic axolotl tend to sell for much less than the rest.
We have seen some people talking about owning a GFP (green fluorescent protein) mosaic axolotl but we have never seen any evidence of them.
These are not natural and have had humans add the GFP to their DNA. With some collectors being openly against tinkering with axolotl DNA, a GFP mosaic axolotl may actually not be as valuable as their natural variants.
Vitiligo Vs Mosaic Axolotls!
Vitiligo is a condition where an axolotl will gradually lose the color from its melanophores resulting in a patched look that can sometimes look like a marbled mosaic axolotl.
We have seen some people try to sell a vitiligo axolotl as is if it was a mosaic axolotl to try and get more money for it so always do your research.
We know that the condition in axolotls that most people refer to as vitiligo is not actually vitiligo but it is what the vast majority of the community know it as.
The main point that we are trying to raise is that more and more people are trying to sell vitiligo axolotls as if they were marbled mosaic axolotls when they are not.
Still, some people do like the look of a vitiligo axolotl and will actively look for them to have them in their collection. That said though, they are not worth anywhere near as much as the rare mosaic axolotls out there and you can often purchase them for cheap.
Mosaic Vs Chimera Axolotls!
Some people use the term mosaic axolotl and chimera axolotls interchangeably to describe the exact same thing, a mosaic axolotl.
Due to axolotl being an amphibian, the cause of a mosaic axolotl is not due to the fusing of zygotes as this can only occur in reptiles so a mosaic axolotl is not actually a chimera with true chimera axolotls being impossible as they are not reptiles.
Still, we know that a large number of the community will still refer to mosaic axolotls as chimera axolotls due to the look of them being very similar to that of a chimera reptile even though it is technically incorrect.
We have seen some people listing mosaic axolotls and chimera axolotls as different types of axolotl though and using a picture of a marbled mosaic for the mosaic axolotl and a picture of a split axolotl as the chimera axolotl.
Although they do look very different to each other, both marbled and split axolotls are mosaic axolotls.
An easy way to think of it is that the term mosaic is used for a very similar condition in amphibians that the term chimera is used to describe in reptiles but their specific cause is slightly different.
That brings our ultimate guide to mosaic axolotls to an end. We hope that you have found it helpful and that you now understand mosaic axolotls better. We predict that their popularity is only going to increase over the coming months and years as more and more become aware of the mosaic variant and the potential of their beauty due to unique pattern and color combinations.