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Syrian Hamster

 


Syrian hamsters are probably the most common domesticated hamster. All Syrian hamsters in captivity are believed to be descended from a mother and her 12 cubs who were dug out of a burrow near Syria, in 1930. 

Adult hamsters can grow up to 18cm in length. with females being slightly larger than the males. Adults are fiercely territorial and should be housed individually due to the frequent and fierce fighting with other hamsters. 

Since Syrian hamsters are bigger than the other species, they can cope with more handling before they get tired. They also seem to be more responsive to what is going on around them. They are very friendly to human. Once tamed, they remain tame for life.

The Syrian hamster is also known commonly as the golden hamster, although today's advance breeding techniques have developed more than 40 different colour types.


GOLDEN AGOUTI
BLACK MUTATION
CINNAMON MUTATION
CREAM (BLACK-EYED) MUTATION
GREY (DARK) MUTATION
GREY (SILVER) MUTATION
GREY (LIGHT) MUTATION
RUST MUTATION
UMBROUS MUTATION
SEPIA MUTATION
WHITE (DARK-EARED) MUTATION
YELLOW MUTATION
BEIGE RUST x DARK GREY
BLONDE (RED-EYED) LIGHT GREY x CINNAMON
CHOCOLATE (BLACK) BLACK x RUST
CHOCOLATE (SABLE) BLACK-EYED CREAM x RUST x UMBROUS GENE
COPPER BLACK-EYED CREAM x UMBROUS GENE x CINNAMON x RUST
CREAM (RED-EYED) BLACK-EYED CREAM x CINNAMON
DOVE BLACK x CINNAMON
HONEY CINNAMON x YELLOW
IVORY (BLACK-EYED)

BLACK-EYED CREAM x LIGHT GREY
BLACK-EYED CREAM x DARK GREY
BLACK-EYED CREAM x SILVER GREY

IVORY (RED-EYED)

BLACK-EYED CREAM x LIGHT GREY x CINNAMON
BLACK-EYED CREAM x DARK GREY x CINNAMON
BLACK-EYED CREAM x SILVER GREY x CINNAMON

LILAC CINNAMON x DARK GREY
LILAC PEARL DARK GREY x YELLOW x CINNAMON
MINK BLACK-EYED CREAM x CINNAMON x UMBROUS GENE
MINK (BLUE) BLACK-EYED CREAM x CINNAMON x UMBROUS GENE x RUST x DARK GREY
ROAN (BLACK-EYED) BLACK-EYED CREAM x UMBROUS GENE x WHITE-BELLIED GENE
SABLE BLACK-EYED CREAM x UMBROUS GENE
SMOKE PEARL DARK GREY x YELLOW
TORTOISESHELL & WHITE YELLOW x BANDED OR SPOT x COLOURED ANIMAL
WHITE (BLACK-EYED) BLACK-EYED CREAM x WHITE-BELLIED GENE
WHITE (FLESH-EARED) CINNAMON x DARK EARED WHITE
YELLOW BLACK YELLOW x BLACK


NB. Caution is needed when breeding from animals carrying or displaying the WHITE-BELLIED GENE as this may result in having eyeless babies.

NB. You should not breed two satin coated animals together, as this may cause some if not all the babies to have thin fur or even bald patches

THIS INFORMATION MAY NOT CONTAIN ALL THE COLOUR COMBINATIONS AS THERE ARE OTHERS BEING BRED AND DISCOVERED BY BREEDERS WORLDWIDE.





Black

All "Self" colours in Syrian hamsters are based around one of two naturally occurring recessive mutations. One is "Restriction of Eumelanism", (e), which creates Black Eyed Cream and the other is "Melanistic Black", (a).

The Black hamster was imported in the UK in 1991. Until that date, the darkest animals available had been Sables. Unlike the Sable, which has very dark brown fur with a paler under colour and eye rings, the "true", melanistic black has fur that is jet black to the roots. The colouration is uniform all over the animal, although some white on the paws and belly is common. In the USA Black Syrian hamsters are sometimes referred to as "Black Bear hamsters"; not only are they black, but, (coming from show stock), many of the original imports were larger than the hamsters that the purchasers were used to.

Black is a simple recessive and breeding Black to Black produces all Black young. Crossing Black with Golden produces Golden young carrying Black; mating these youngsters amongst themselves will produce around one in four Black young in the resulting litters. Mating a Golden carrying Black to a Black animal produces roughly equal numbers of Blacks and Goldens, (carrying Black).

The Black gene combines with Cinnamon, (p), to produce Dove and with Rust, (b), to produce Chocolate. A particularly striking animal is the Black Tortoiseshell and White hamster. These are invariably female, (as are all Tortoiseshells), and have a coat boldly marked with patches of Yellow, Black and White. To breed this colour from scratch you would first mate a "patterned" Black male, (either a Banded or a Dominant Spot), to a Yellow female. This results in Yellow males, (with and without "patterning"), and Golden Tortoiseshell females, (again, with or without "patterning"). Mating one of the "non patterned" Golden Tortoiseshell females back to her father will result in a litter which may contain Black, Golden or Yellow males, (with or without patterning), and Black, Golden, Black Tortoiseshell and Golden Tortoiseshell females, (with or without patterning). Once a Black Tortoiseshell and White female is obtained, she should be bred to a Black male; this mating would produce Black males and females, (some patterned, some not), Yellow males, (some patterned, some not), and Black Tortoiseshell females, (some with and some without white).


Cinnamon


Cinnamon is a simple recessive gene, (p), and is a naturally occurring mutation. It can be combined with Dark Grey to give Lilac, with Yellow to give Honey, with Cream to give Red Eyed Cream and so on. Other colours which have Cinnamon in their genetic makeup include; Dove, (made by combining Cinnamon with Black), Red Eyed Ivory, (Cinnamon, Cream and either Dark or Light Grey), Flesh Eared White, (Cinnamon and Dark Eared White) and Mink, (Umbrous/ Sable, Cream and Cinnamon). 



Cream


This colour is the result of a naturally occurring, recessive mutation. "Cream", as it is usually abbreviated was the first "self" colour to arise, (since White is not, technically, a colour). The animal is not, as many people expect, the colour of cow's cream; a really good show animal might be compared instead to an apricot or peach in colour. Generally, though, most Cream hamsters are paler than this, some almost the colour of fudge or weak milky tea.

Prior to the arrival of the true Black in the early 1990's, all "Self" colours in the United Kingdom included Cream in their genetic makeup, and most still do. ("Self" refers to a variety which is the same colour all over, including the belly fur. "Agouti" varieties have paler belly fur and lighter "crescents" on the side of the face). For example, Copper, Ivory, Sable and Mink hamsters are all produced by the interaction of the Cream gene, (e), with another gene or genes.

Since Cream is recessive, breeding Cream to Cream will produce only Cream young, (unless another recessive colour is carried by both parents). Black Eyed Creams are probably one of the most popular colours of hamster in the UK, and, when breeding for show, it is worthwhile "shopping around" to buy stock from successful Exhibitor - Breeders. Cream hamsters also make acceptable mates for some of the rarer colours, (Copper, Ivory, etc.), due to the gene being an integral part of the colour.

Dark Grey (dg), also called Recessive Grey


 

 

This is a naturally occuring mutation. It is recessive, so an hamster will only be Dark Grey if it inherits the dg gene from both parents. However, a fair number of black hamsters have Dark Grey animals a long way back in their ancestry. As a result, "throwbacks" may occur and a Dark Grey youngster appear in a litter where both parents have black in their pedigrees. Dark Grey animals, and those with Dark Grey as part of their colour's makeup, occasionally display a genetic fault, known in the hamster fancy as "kinky tail". This varies in severity from a barely noticeable bend in the tail, (which can be felt but not seen), to a corkscrew tail, twisted up over the hamster's back. This does not seem to affect the health of the hamster itself; such hamsters seem as healthy and longlived as their unaffected littermates. It would be unwise, however, to breed from such an animal, since the fault may become more severe over time and affect more vital parts of the spine. Manx cats, for example, have genes which alter the design of their tails - and some Manx kittens are born with Spina Bifida.

Dark Grey combines with the sexlinked Yellow gene to give Smoke Pearl, (adding Cinnamon to this mixture gives Lilac Pearl), with Cream to give Ivory, (adding Cinnamon will give Red Eyed Ivory), with Cinnamon to give Lilac and with Cream, Cinnamon and Umbrous to give Blue Mink. A good mating for both colours is Dark Grey to Dark Golden; the resulting litter, (all Goldens), have improved ticking, while mating a youngster back to Dark Grey will give Goldens and Dark Greys. Since Dark Greys and their derived colours have a tendency to "shrink" from generation to generation and become undersized, this "outcross" keeps up the vigour and size of the resulting Dark Grey young.


CINNAMON (pp)
TOP COAT Rich russet orange carried approximately one third of the way down
BASE COLOUR Slate blue
BELLY FUR Creamy ivory, with a blue under colour
CRESCENTS Ivory
TICKING Absent
CHEST BAND Rich russet orange
CHEEK FLASHES Brown
EYE COLOUR Bright claret red
EAR COLOUR Flesh brown
NOTES  



Silver Grey, (Sg), also called Dominant Grey


 

The Silver Grey gene, a natural mutation, has only been known in the United Kingdom since 1991, when it was imported from Sweden. Since it is a dominant gene, a hamster only needs to inherit it from one parent to show the silver coat characteristic of this colour. Unlike Light Grey, however, mating two Silver Greys together causes no reduction in litter sixe. Many Silver Grey litters contain an "offshoot" of Silver Grey often called Silver Grey Sepia. This colour has a brownish tinge to the coat, rather than the clear Silver Grey called for by the standard. It is probable that Silver Sepias are the animals most likely to be carrying other colours, for example, Golden.



Light Grey (Lg), also called Lethal Grey

This gene is a naturally occurring mutation. Inheritance is simple; the Light Grey gene is dominant, so a hamster can be Light Grey even if it only inherits the gene from one parent. To slightly complicate this, the Light Grey gene, Lg, causes death of young inheriting it from both parents. These young die at a very early stage of development in their mother's uterus and are reabsorbed. This means that mating Light Grey to Light Grey can always produce some young that are NOT Light Grey. (Any live Light Grey animals must "carry" the gene lg for non Light Grey because, if they didn't, they would have died before birth. Also, due to the "missing" LgLg young, the litter sizeat birth is only three quarters the "expected" size. The expected ratio of colours from a Light Grey to Light Grey mating would therefore be two thirds Light Grey, (carrying "non Light Grey"), and one third "Non Light Grey", (usually Golden).

Light Grey combines with Cream to produce Ivory and with Cinnamon to produce Blonde.

Rust or Guinea Gold (bb)

 


This is a naturally occurring mutation, but is unfortunately now rather uncommon. In addition, the main top colour of the coat, ("Rich Orange Brown"), at first glance falls within the range of top colours given for the three types of Golden, ("Light Fawny Gold", through, "Bright Chestnut", to "Rich Dark Mahogany Red"). Although really good Golden hamsters of any colour are distinctive, Rust hamsters can very easily be mistaken for Normal or Light Goldens which are not up to show winning standard. If there is no record of a hamster's ancestry, one cannot rely on parentage to shed light on the true colour either. However, there are two features which can be used to differentiate Rust hamsters from Goldens without any fear of making a mistake.

 

Firstly, the cheek flashes in Rusts are dark brown, (described as "Deep Rust Brown" in the Standard). All Golden hamsters should have flashes which are either very dark grey, (Light Golden), or black, (Normal or Dark Goldens).

Secondly, the base colour in Rusts is brownish grey, nothing like the slate grey base colour in the Goldens. This colour can be seen next to the skin if the coat is blown on, to open it out.

Rusts, as previously stated, are rare. Should a Rust appear, and no Rust mate be available, mating to a really good Golden, with the best type and fur etc available, would be the safest way to propogate the colour. The young would all be Goldens, (carrying Rust), and mating a youngster back to the Rust parent would produce a litter of Goldens and Rusts in the ratio 1:1.

The Beige hamster, another rarity, is formed by combining Rust with Dark Grey, while the Copper hamster, (also rare), is produced by combining Rust with Cinnamon, Umbrous and Cream.

White, Dark Eared

The white coat of this variety of hamster is misleading. It is a result of a naturally occurring, recessive mutation called the Acromelanic gene, which restricts colour to areas of the body that are below normal body temperature. It is therefore similar in action to the Himalayan gene in rabbits, rats, gerbils, cavies and cats. Like the Himalayan gene, it also restricts the development of eye colour, producing red eyes, (as is also the case in rabbits and cavies). In other species of animal, the colour is restricted to the "points"; the nose, ears, paws and tail. Hamsters, however, have short tails, blunt faces and small paws, all of which are close to the body core, and thus warm. As a result, the only areas of this type of hamster that actually darkens and shows colour, (grey or black), is the ears. The ears are pink when the hamster is first born, and usually don't start to darken until they become erect at around three weeks of age. The darkening then continues until the hamster is around twelve weeks of age.

When breeding this colour it is important to remember two things.

Firstly, the Acromelanic gene is recessive. This means that the hamster has to inherit it from both parents. Mating White to White will only produce White youngsters.

Secondly, the gene will mask any colour, since the "colour" would only be shown on the cooler ears, not the warmer areas. This means that a "White" hamster is genetically a coloured animal in a "white overcoat". Although the young from a White to White mating will have white coats, they will have inherited appropriate combinations of the colour(s) their parents were showing or carrying "under" the white, and can pass these on to their own young.

Due to the above, mating a White animal to a non-White one can produce surprising results. Since the resulting young only inherit one Acromelanic gene, they don't show the white coat, but they may show some of the colours that were "masked" by the white. This can lead to surprises!

Dark Eared White hamsters with patched ears, (pink and coloured blotches), are Banded or Dominant Spot individuals, and can produce, (visibly), Banded or Spotted youngsters when bred to non White animals.

A final note; this colour should not be bred to any animal that carries, or may carry the Anopthalmic, (Eyeless or White Bellied), gene. Due to the coat colour it is difficult to determine for sure whether White animals are carrying this gene, which produces eyeless white-coated animals when inherited from both parents. To avoid the accidental breeding of such eyeless animals, all Whites of unknown ancestry should be treated and bred as if they where possible carriers.

Yellow

The naturally occurring mutation which causes Yellow is sex linked. This means that it is expressed differently in males and females, and the results of matings involving Yellow animals can vary according to which parent is Yellow.

Like all mammals, Syrian hamsters have a pair of "sex chromosomes", which determine whether an animal is male or female. Female mammals have a pair of "X" chromosomes as their sex chromosomes, while males have one "X" and one "Y" chromosome. (The "Y" chromosome appears to be a "cut down" version of the "X", with part of the "X" being removed). When females make their egg cells each will contain a copy of one or the other of the pair of "X" chromosomes, while when males make sperm cells, half will contain a copy of the male's "X" chromosome, half a copy of the "Y". "X" sperm, fertilising "X" eggs, will give "XX" embryos which will grow into females, while "Y" sperm, fertilising "X" eggs, will give "XY" embryos which will grow into males.

The gene for Yellow, (To), can be found on the X chromosome, on the part of the chromosome missing in the Y. This means that, in effect, the female has two copies of this gene, (one on each of her two Xs), and the male only one, (on the X but not the Y chromosome). Another peculiarity about the Yellow gene is that it is "incompletely dominant". If a hamster has only Yellow genes it will be Yellow, if it has only "non-Yellow", (to), genes it will not be Yellow, and if it has one Yellow and one non-Yellow gene it will show both, as patches of Yellow and non-Yellow fur. This last pattern is called Tortoiseshell and is only found in female hamsters, since only they have two X chromosomes and so only they can have two different genes on them.

Guidelines for mating Yellow/ non-Yellow animals.

In all the following matings, please bear these tenets in mind;

"Male hamsters inherit one or the other of the their mother's two Yellow or non-Yellow genes, and show that colour".

"Female hamsters inherit one or the other of the their mother's two Yellow or non-Yellow genes, and show that colour. They inherit their father's Yellow or non-Yellow gene, and show that colour as well".

Examples

1. Mating a Yellow male to a Yellow female gives all Yellow males and all Yellow females.

2. Mating a Yellow male to a non-Yellow female gives all non-Yellow males and all Tortoiseshell females.

3. Mating a non-Yellow male to a Yellow female gives all Yellow males and all Tortoiseshell females.

4. Mating a non-Yellow male to a non-Yellow female gives all non-Yellow males and all non-Yellow females.

5. Mating a Yellow male to a Tortoiseshell female gives Yellow and non-Yellow males and Yellow and Tortoiseshell females, (in the expected ratio 1:1:1:1).

6. Mating a non-Yellow male to a Tortoiseshell female gives Yellow and non-Yellow males and Tortoiseshell and non-Yellow females, (in the expected ratio 1:1:1:1).

Explanation.

Matings 1 and 4 show that the Yellow gene is pure breeding and cannot be carried; if you mate two Yellow animals together you get only Yellow young, if you mate two non-Yellow ones you get only non-Yellow young.

Matings 2 and 3 show that the male young inherit their Yellow or non-Yellow colouration from their MOTHER ONLY, (on their X chromosome). The fact that the females show no difference between the two matings indicates that they inherit an X chromosome from EACH PARENT and show its effects equally.

Matings 5 and 6 demonstrate that males pass their Yellow or non-Yellow colouration on to their daughters BUT NOT THEIR SONS. In both cases it can be seen that the male young are the same for both matings, but that the females vary according to what their father is.

From matings 1 and 5 it can be seen that Yellow females can only come from mating Yellow males ot either Yellow or Tortoiseshell females. Yellow MALES, however, can be bred from Yellow or Tortoiseshell females REGARDLESS of the colour of the male they are bred to, (matings 1, 3, 5 and 6).

Yellow combines with Cinnamon to produce Honey and with Dark Grey to produce Smoke Pearl. Both these colours are sex linked, due to the action of the Yellow gene, although "non-yellow" animals, (which would be Goldens in the examples), would be Cinnamons and Dark Greys for Honey and Smoke Pearl respectively. Where there were GOLDEN Tortoiseshells in the examples there would be Cinnamon or Dark Grey Tortoiseshells, as appropriate.

Black Tortoiseshells are also known, and look very striking due to the contrast between the Black and the Yellow. The inheritance of Yellow in Black Tortoiseshells is the same as above. Yellow also combines with Black to produce "Yellow Black" or "Smoke Yellow", although the exact method of inheritance is uncertain.

There are at the moment no recognised Yellow derived or Tortoiseshell patterned animals resulting from combining Yellow with Cream, or Cream and Umbrous, (Sable). It is known, however, that some Cream and Sable animals ARE, in fact, genetically Yellow or Tortoiseshell, since, when they are "outcrossed" to Goldens, Yellows and Tortoiseshells result. (The resulting Yellows, invariably very pale, are sometimes referred to as "Ghost Yellows"). A close watch should be kept when breeding Self coloured animals, (such as Creams and Sables), to Agouti varieties, (such as Goldens), since the appearence of young with the Yellow gene at such times is often the only indication that there is "invisible" Yellow in the Self animals.

BEIGE

Beige is very rare colour, formed by combining the Rust gene, (b), and the Dark Grey gene, (dg). Both of the constituent colours are themselves relatively rare, hence the scarcity of Beige animals.

As with all colours derived from Dark Grey, Beige animals are often smaller and less robust than others in the same litter. There is also the risk of producing animals with "kinky" tails, (please refer to the information on Dark Greys). For this reason it is unwise to breed closely related Beige animals to each other. Since this colour is very rare, the chances of finding an unrelated Beige mate are slim.

To propagate this colour from a single individual, he or she should be mated to at least two unrelated Golden animals of good type and size. The resultant young will be Golden, carrying the Rust and Dark Grey genes. Mating these youngsters to unrelated Beiges would produce litters in which equal numbers of Golden, Rust, Dark Grey and Beige pups would be expected.

If an unrelated Beige animal is unavailable, the Golden sons and daughters can be mated to their half sisters or half brothers. The expected ratio of colours in the resulting litters would be 9 Golden: 3 Dark Grey: 3 Rust: 1 Beige. Although this method produces a smaller percentage of Beiges, it will, to a large extent, minimize the loss of vigour and weight, and the risk of tail defects. 

Blonde 


 

Blonde is formed by combining the light grey gene, (Lg), and Cinnamon, (p). Blonde hamsters can therefore be mated with either of these two colours, if a blonde mate is unavailable. Mating to Cinnamons will result in a litter of Cinnamons and Blondes in equal proportions, (Light Grey being a dominant gene). Since the Lg gene is lethal, and young inheriting an Lg gene from each parent will die in the womb, mating to Light Grey will produce a smaller than average litter. The babies which survive and are born will be a mixture of Light Greys and Goldens in the ratio 2:1. 

Copper


This colour is formed by the interaction of four genes; Umbrous, Black Eyed Cream, Cinnamon and Rust. Since all but the first of these genes are recessive, and thus have to be inherited from both parents to be shown, the colour is extremely rare.

Copper animals mated to each other will breed true, (i.e., only produce Copper young), but the chances of finding two Coppers of opposite sex is minimal. If two individuals both carrying all the genes required to produce Copper are mated to each other, the proportion of Coppers expected in the litter is so low as to be negligible, (about 1 in 85), that it can be ignored. (For anyone willing to try such odds, the correct genes can be obtained by mating Mink to Rust and then mating two of the Sooty Golden offspring together).

The only really practical way to breed Coppers is mate one of the very rare Copper individuals to Sable or Mink and then mating a youngster back to its Copper parent. From a mating to Sable, the second generation mating, (offspring to parent), would be expected to produce around 25% Copper youngsters, (one in four). From a mating to Mink the ratio would be higher, 50% or one in two. 

Red Eyed Cream 


This is a striking colour produced by the interaction of the Cinnamon gene, (p), and the Black Eyed Cream gene, (e). The coat is a rich, warm, glowing peach colour, and the eyes are a dark red, almost garnet; a beautiful contrast. Both of the "constituent" genes are recessive, and so the animal needs to inherit a copy of each gene from each parent. Red eyed young often crop up in litters bred from Black Eyed Cream parents, if the latter carry Cinnamon, (which a substantial minority do).

When breeding Red Eyed Cream, if a suitable Red Eyed mate is unavailable, the animal can be mated to a Black Eyed Cream to produce a litter of black eyed Cream young which all carry Cinnamon. Mating one of these to it's Red Eyed parent should produce a litter of roughly equal numbers of Red Eyed and Black Eyed Cream. Alternatively, breeding a young female to her brother would be expected to produce a litter of approximately three times as many Black Eyed as Red Eyed babies.

Red Eyed Creams can be mated to Cinnamons, and in this case will produce all Cinnamon pups, since both parents are pure breeding for Cinnamon. However, for showing purposes, the resulting Cinnamons are generally poor, and mating to Black Eyed Cream is more advisable. Red Eyed Creams mated to Mink individuals may produce a mixture of Mink and Red Eyed Cream in the litter. In addition, this colour is an excellent match for breeding to Copper, since Red Eyed Cream is pure breeding for two out of the four genes which make up the extremely rare Copper colour.

Honey


 

Honey is a colour formed by combining the Cinnamon gene, p, with the sex linked Yellow gene, To. For this reason, it is compatible with both, although Yellow is probably the slightly less "potentially confusing" match of the two, should a Honey mate be unavailable. This is because, since the gene for Yellow, To, (and its opposite, non yellow, given the symbol to), is found on the "X" chromosome. Since this is one of the sex chromosomes), its effects are shown slightly differently in males and females.

Females have a pair of X chromosomes, males have one X chromosome and a chromosome called the Y chromosome. Since female hamsters only have X chromosomes all their eggs will contain one X chromosome. Males have an X and a Y chromosome, so half of their sperm will contain an X chromosome, half a Y. An X bearing sperm unites with an X egg to form an XX embryo, (which will be female), while a Y bearing sperm unites with an X egg to produce an XY, (male), embryo. In other words, a male hamster passes his X chromosome only to his daughters and his Y chromosome only to his sons, while a female passes an X chromosome on to both her sons and her daughters.

The Yellow gene, To, is not completely dominant; if an animal has a Yellow, (To), gene and a non Yellow, (to), gene it will show patches of Yellow and non Yellow fur. This pattern is called Tortoiseshell and, obviously, all Tortoiseshell hamsters must be female, (because only females have two X chromosomes and so only they can have two different genes at the Yellow site). Male hamsters, having only one X chromosome, must show whichever gene is on that chromosome.

A female Honey produces eggs which all carry the Cinnamon gene, p, and all carry the Yellow gene, To. Both her sons and her daughters will always inherit the Yellow and Cinnamon genes. If she is mated to a Honey male, (who will produce sperm carrying the p gene and whose X bearing sperm ONLY will contain the To gene), the result will be male and female Honeys - Honey is true breeding. Mating to a Yellow male would produce the same interaction with the Yellow gene, but, since the young would inherit only one p gene, (the other would be a P gene from their Yellow father), they would be Yellow, not Honey.

Mating the same female to a Cinnamon male will give a different effect. All the babies will inherit a p gene from each parent, but the males, having only one X chromosome, (from their Honey mother), will be Honey. The females, (inheriting a To bearing X chromosome from their mother and a to bearing one from their father), will all be Cinnamon Tortoisehells. Mating a Honey female to a Golden male would produce Yellow males and Golden Tortoiseshell females.

If the above mating is done "the other way around", (i.e., a Cinnamon FEMALE to a Honey MALE), the results are slightly different. The female will produce eggs all containing an X chromosome with the gene to, for non-Yellow, on it. The male's sperm will contain either a Y chromosome or a To bearing X one. Since all the males inherit their X chromosome from their Cinnamon mother, they are all Cinnamon. The females, inheriting an X chromosome from each parent will still be Cinnamon Tortoiseshells, because they have inherited a To bearing X, (from their father this time), and a to bearing one, (from their mother). Mating to a Yellow male would produce Golden males and Golden Tortoiseshell females.

Mating Tortoiseshell females produces yet more combinations. Since they have a To bearing X chromosome AND a to bearing one, half of their eggs contain the To gene and the other half the to one. Mating to a Honey male will give Cinnamon and Honey males and Honey and Cinnamon Tortoiseshell females, (in both males and females the colour is dependent on which X chromosome the youngster inherits from its mother). Mating to a Cinnamon male would give Cinnamon and Honey males and Cinnamon and Cinnamon Tortoiseshell females. If Yellow or Golden males were used, instead of Cinnamons or Honeys, the results would be Yellows instead of Honeys, Goldens instead of Cinnamons and Golden, (instead of Cinnamon), Tortoiseshells.

Black Eyed Ivory 


Combining the Black Eyed Cream gene with any of the three grey genes, (Silver, Light or Dark Grey), will produce Ivory. The colour is comparatively rare, but is relatively easy to breed now that two dominant forms of grey are available. The major difficulty is that if a breeder has an Ivory hamster of unknown ancestory, (for example, from a pet shop), it can be difficult to breed on from reliably until it is ascertained precisely which grey gene is involved. The simplest way to determine this is to mate to a Black Eyed Cream. An Ivory produced by combining the dominant genes Silver Grey or Light Grey with Cream will, when mated to a Cream, produce Ivory young in the litter, (together with some Creams). Since Dark Grey is recessive¸(and so has to be inherited from both parents), mating a Cream to an Ivory derived by combining Black Eyed Cream and Dark Grey will only produce Cream young. To breed Ivory will require one of two strategies, in the absence of an Ivory mate with the same grey gene. In both cases, the animal should be mated to Black Eyed Cream, which is one of the "constituent" genes, and the commonest. Then only the "Grey" gene need be worried about.

For Ivories containing the Silver or Light Grey genes the situation is simple; it is sufficient to breed to Black Eyed Creams. Some of the young will inherit the Grey gene, and will be Ivory, others will not, and will be Black Eyed Cream.

For the Ivories derived using Dark Grey, the youngsters from an Ivory - Cream mating will be Creams, carrying Dark Grey. Mating one of these back to it's Ivory parent will produce a litter of roughly half Ivories and half Black Eyed Creams. Alternatively, mating brother to sister will produce roughly three quarters Black Eyed Creams and one quarter Ivories.

Red Eyed Ivory

Combining the Black Eyed Cream gene with any of the three grey genes, (Silver, Light or Dark Grey), will produce Black Eyed Ivory. Adding the Cinnamon gene to the mixture produces Red Eyed Ivory. The colour is comparatively rare, but is fairly easy to breed, now that two dominant forms of grey are available, since the other two genes, Cream and Cinnamon, are relatively common. The major difficulty is that if a breeder has a Red Eyed Ivory of unknown ancestory, (for example, from a pet shop), it can be difficult to breed on from reliably until it is ascertained precisely which grey gene is involved. The simplest way to determine this is to mate to a Red Eyed Cream, (or failing that, a Black Eyed Cream).

A Red Eyed Ivory produced by combining the dominant genes Silver Grey or Light Grey with Cream will, when mated to a Black Eyed or Red Eyed Cream, produce Ivory young in the litter, (together with some Creams). The young Creams, (and/ or Ivories), from this mating will normally have the eye colour, (red or black), of their Cream parent. The reason is that the Cinnamon gene, (giving red eyes), is recessive to "non Cinnamon", (which gives black eyes). The young all inherit a Cinnamon gene from their Red Eyed Ivory parent, so the eye colour depends on whether or not they inherit one from the Cream parent.

Since Dark Grey is recessive¸(and so has to be inherited from both parents), mating a Cream to a Red Eyed Ivory derived by combining Black Eyed Cream, Cinnamon and Dark Grey will only produce Cream young, (again, with the eye colour of the Cream parent).

To breed Red Eyed Ivory will require one of two strategies, in the absence of a like coloured mate. In both cases, the animal should be mated to Cream, (preferably Red Eyed), which takes care of at least one, (or two), of the "constituent" genes. Then only the "Grey" gene need be worried about.

For Ivories containing the Silver or Light Grey genes the situation is simple; it is sufficient to breed to Red Eyed Creams. Some of the young will inherit the Grey gene, and will be Red Eyed Ivory, others will not, and will be Red Eyed Cream. If a Black Eyed Cream is used, Black Eyed Creams and Black Eyed Ivories, both carrying Cinnamon, will be produced.

For the Red Eyed Ivories derived using Dark Grey, the youngsters from an Ivory - Red Eyed Cream mating will be Red Eyed Creams, carrying Dark Grey. Mating one of these back to it's Ivory parent will produce a litter of roughly half Red Eyed Ivories and half Red Eyed Creams. Alternatively, mating brother to sister will produce roughly three quarters Red Eyed Creams and one quarter Red Eyed Ivories. If a Black Eyed Cream is used, instead of a Red Eyed one, the young in the first generation will be Black Eyed Creams. Mating these back to their Red Eyed Ivory parent will be expected to produce equal proportions of Red Eyed Ivory, Black Eyed Ivory, Red Eyed Cream and Black Eyed Cream young. Mating brother to sister would be expected to produce Black Eyed Creams, Red Eyed Creams, Black Eyed Ivories and Red Eyed Ivories in the ratio 9:3:3:1, and so is not such a productive method of propogating the colour.

Satin Lilac 

 

Lilac hamsters are formed by the combination of the Cinnamon gene, p, and the Dark Grey gene, dg. Either Cinnamons or Dark Greys are compatible mates for Lilac; the litter will consist of young that resemble the non lilac parent, (i.e., are Cinnamon or Dark Grey, as appropriate).

As a result of being derived from Dark Grey, Lilac hamsters can carry the "kinky tail" genetic fault. Animals with bent or curled tails should not be bred from, as this is believed to lead to spinal problems, as it does in Manx cats.

When Lilacs are bred only to other Lilacs for several generations, the young are not infrequently smaller than average, as a result of the influence of the dg gene. This progressive reduction of size can be minimised by mating "out" to Cinnamons every few generations.

Sable 


 

Prior to the arrival of the melanistic Black in the early 1990s, this colour was called the Black. It is produced by combining the dominant Umbrous gene, U, with the recessive Black Eyed Cream gene, (e). The animal is not truly black; the colour is actually a very dark brown, the colour of black coffee, and the coat is further lightened by the Cream "undercolour" at the base of each hair. (Cream also shows in the pale "spectacles" or eye rings). This colour has a tendency to "fade" with increasing age, and the show life is correspondingly shortened, but they are nevertheless very attractive animals.

Since the Cream gene is recessive the hamster will have to inherit it from both parents, but the Umbrous gene, (being dominant), need only be from one. Therefore, Sables can be bred to other Sables, (which, for producing "show stock", may be preferable), but can also be mated to Cream hamsters. The litter may then contain a mixture of Sables and Creams. If the recessive Cinnamon gene is included in the mixture, (for example, by mating to Red Eyed Cream), the Sable hamster, (with black eyes), may be used to produce the Mink, (which has red). (A Mink hamster is effectively a Sable animal which is also pure breeding for Cinnamon).

Smoke Pearl 

 

Smoke Pearl is a colour formed by combining the Dark Grey gene, dg, with the sex linked Yellow gene, To. For this reason, it is compatible with both, although Yellow is probably the slightly less "potentially confusing" match of the two, should a Smoke Pearl mate be unavailable. This is because, since the gene for Yellow, To, (and its opposite, non yellow, given the symbol to), is found on the "X" chromosome. Since this is one of the sex chromosomes), its effects are shown slightly differently in males and females.

Females have a pair of X chromosomes, males have one X chromosome and a chromosome called the Y chromosome. Since female hamsters only have X chromosomes all their eggs will contain one X chromosome. Males have an X and a Y chromosome, so half of their sperm will contain an X chromosome, half a Y. An X bearing sperm unites with an X egg to form an XX embryo, (which will be female), while a Y bearing sperm unites with an X egg to produce an XY, (male), embryo. In other words, a male hamster passes his X chromosome only to his daughters and his Y chromosome only to his sons, while a female passes an X chromosome on to both her sons and her daughters.

The Yellow gene, To, is not completely dominant; if an animal has a Yellow, (To), gene and a non Yellow, (to), gene it will show patches of Yellow and non Yellow fur. This pattern is called Tortoiseshell and, obviously, all Tortoiseshell hamsters must be female, (because only females have two X chromosomes and so only they can have two different genes at the Yellow site). Male hamsters, having only one X chromosome, must show whichever gene is on that chromosome.

A female Smoke Pearl produces eggs which all carry the Dark Grey gene, dg, and all carry the Yellow gene, To. Both her sons and her daughters will always inherit the Yellow and Dark Grey genes. If she is mated to a Smoke Pearl male, (who will produce sperm carrying the dg gene and whose X bearing sperm ONLY will contain the To gene), the result will be male and female Smoke Pearls - Smoke Pearl is true breeding. Mating to a Yellow male would produce the same interaction with the Yellow gene, but, since the young would inherit only one dg gene, (the other would be a Dg gene from their Yellow father), they would be Yellow, not Smoke Pearl.

Mating the same female to a Dark Grey male will give a different effect. All the babies will inherit a dg gene from each parent, but the males, having only one X chromosome, (from their Smoke Pearl mother), will be Smoke Pearl. The females, (inheriting a To bearing X chromosome from their mother and a to bearing one from their father), will all be Dark Grey Tortoiseshells. Mating a Smoke Pearl female to a Golden male would produce Yellow males and Golden Tortoiseshell females.

If the above mating is done "the other way around", (i.e., a Dark Grey FEMALE to a Smoke Pearl MALE), the results are slightly different. The female will produce eggs all containing an X chromosome with the gene to, for non-Yellow, on it. The male's sperm will contain either a Y chromosome or a To bearing X one. Since all the males inherit their X chromosome from their Dark Grey mother they are all Dark Grey. The females, inheriting an X chromosome from each parent will still be Dark Grey Tortoiseshells, because they have inherited a To bearing X, (from their father this time), and a to bearing one, (from their mother). Mating to a Yellow male would produce Golden males and Golden Tortoiseshell females.

Mating Tortoiseshell females produces yet more combinations. Since they have a To bearing X chromosome AND a to bearing one, half of their eggs contain the To gene and the other half the to one. Mating to a Smoke Pearl male will give Dark Grey and Smoke Pearl males and Smoke Pearl and Dark Grey Tortoiseshell females, (in both cases the colour is dependent on which X chromosome the youngster inherits from its mother). Mating to a Dark Grey male would give Dark Grey and Smoke Pearl males and Dark Grey and Dark Grey Tortoiseshell females. If Yellow or Golden males were used, instead of Dark Greys or Smoke Pearls, the results would be Yellows instead of Smoke Pearls, Goldens instead of Dark Greys and Golden, (instead of Dark Grey), Tortoiseshells.

As with all colours derived from Dark Grey, Smoke Pearls can carry the "kinky tail" genetic fault. Animals with bent or curled tails should not be bred from, as this is believed to lead to spinal problems, as it does in Manx cats.

When Smoke Pearls are bred only to other Smoke Pearls for several generations, the young are not infrequently smaller than average, as a result of the influence of the dg gene. This progressive reduction of size can be minimised by mating "out" to Yellows every few generations.


TORTOISESHELL


In hamsters, as in all mammals, the gender of an individual depends on the chromosomes inherited from its parents. Females have a pair of X-chromosomes, (XX), one inherited from each of their parents. Males have one X-chromosome, (inherited from their mother), and a Y-chromosome, (inherited from their father). Since the Y-chromosome is a "cut down" version of the X, any genes present on the section of the X-chromosome that is absent in the Y may behave differently in males and females. The Yellow gene, To, is the currently the only "sex linked" gene in Syrian hamsters, and produces the Tortoiseshell.

The Yellow gene is "co-dominant"; animals will show the Yellow gene if they have a copy, but will also show the "non-Yellow" gene if they have a copy. Males, having only one X-chromosome, can have an X-chromosome with the Yellow gene, (XTo), or with the opposite, "non-yellow" gene, (Xto). They will show whatever genes they possess, so XTo will give a Yellow male and Xto will give a non-Yellow one. Since the Yellow gene combines with Cinnamon to give Honey and with Dark Grey to give Smoke Pearl, this also applies to these colours.

With females, the situation is slightly different. As with males, they show the genes that they have, but they have TWO copies of the X-chromosome. A Yellow female only shows Yellow - so her X-chromosomes are both XTo. A non-Yellow female shows no Yellow at all, so her X-chromosomes are both Xto. Some female hamsters, however, (Tortoiseshells), show a mosaic of Yellow and non-Yellow patches in their fur. This is because they have inherited a "Yellow" X-chromosome, ( XTo), from one parent and a "non-Yellow" one, (Xto), from the other.

Since Yellow combines with other genes to produce different colours, the "Yellow" patches on different coloured Tortoiseshell hamsters vary as well. For example, on a Golden Tortoiseshell, the patches of fur are Golden and Yellow, while on a Dark Grey Tortoiseshell they are Dark Grey and Smoke Pearl. The Yellow patches on a Cinnamon Tortoiseshell are Honey, but perhaps the most striking colour of Tortoiseshell of all is the Black Tortoiseshell, with patches of Black and Yellow


Flesh Eared White(Albino) 

This colour is often referred to as the Albino, but this is not a true description. Although it looks like an Albino, (pink eyes and ears and white coat), it is actually created by the interaction of the Acromelanic, (Dark Eared White), gene and the Cinnamon gene. The Acromelanic gene is a naturally occurring, recessive mutation which restricts colour to areas of the body that are below normal body temperature. It is therefore similar in action to the Himalayan gene in rabbits, rats, gerbils, cavies and cats. Like the Himalayan gene, it also restricts the development of eye colour, producing red eyes, (as is also the case in rabbits and cavies). In other species of animal, the colour is restricted to the "points"; the nose, ears, paws and tail. Hamsters, however, have short tails, blunt faces and small paws, all of which are close to the body core, and thus warm. As a result, the only areas of this type of hamster that would actually darken and shows colour, (grey or black), is the ears. However, since the hamster also possesses the Cinnamon gene, (p), which produces flesh coloured ears, the ears do not change colour.

When breeding this colour it is important to remember two things.

Firstly, the Acromelanic gene is recessive. This means that the hamster has to inherit it from both parents. Mating White to White will only produce White youngsters. Mating Dark Eared White to Flesh Eared White will produce all White youngsters, but they will only have pink ears if the Dark Eared parent carries Cinnamon

Secondly, the gene will mask any colour, since the "colour" would only be shown on the cooler ears, not the warmer areas. This means that a "White" hamster is genetically a coloured animal, (for example, Cinnamon, Lilac, Honey, Red Eyed Cream, etc), in a "white overcoat". Although the young from a White to White mating will have white coats, they will have inherited appropriate combinations of the colour(s) their parents were showing or carrying "under" the white, and can pass these on to their own young.

Due to the above, mating a White animal to a non-White one can produce surprising results. Since the resulting young only inherit one Acromelanic gene, they don't show the white coat, but they may show some of the colours that were "masked" by the white. This can lead to surprises!

Dark Eared White hamsters with patched ears, (pink and coloured blotches), are Banded or Dominant Spot individuals, and can produce, (visibly), Banded or Spotted youngsters when bred to non White animals. Since Flesh Eared Whites would not show this patching, any Flesh Eared White of unknown ancestry should be suspected of being Banded or Spotted.

A final note; this colour should not be bred to any animal that carries, or may carry the Anopthalmic, (Eyeless or White Bellied), gene. Due to the coat colour it is difficult to determine for sure whether White animals are carrying this gene, which produces eyeless white-coated animals when inherited from both parents. To avoid the accidental breeding of such eyeless animals, all Whites of unknown ancestry should be treated and bred as if they where possible carriers.







AGOUTI VARIETIES   

Beige

Blonde

Cinnamon

Golden, dark

Grey, dark

Grey, light

Grey, silver

Honey

Lilac

Rust

Smoke pearl

Yellow

 

BEIGE (bbdgdg)

TOP COAT - Soft pale grey with brownish tone, carried approximately one third of the way down
BASE COLOUR - Slate grey
BELLY FUR - Ivory
CRESCENTS - White with base colour
TICKING - Lightly and evenly ticked with dark beige/brown
CHEST BAND - Dark beige/brown
CHEEK FLASHES - Dark beige/brown
EYE COLOUR - Very dark brown, almost black
EAR COLOUR - Very dark beige
NOTES.

BLONDE (Lglgpp)

TOP COAT - Creamy blonde carried approximately one third of the way down  
BASE COLOUR - Light grey
BELLY FUR - Ivory
CRESCENTS - Ivory
TICKING - Absent
CHEST BAND - Creamy blonde, with an orange tint
CHEEK FLASHES - Light grey
EYE COLOUR - Claret red
EAR COLOUR - Flesh grey
NOTES - Tends to have orange tinted muzzle.

CINNAMON (pp)

TOP COAT - Rich russet orange carried approximately one third of the way down 
BASE COLOUR - Slate blue
BELLY FUR - Creamy ivory, with a blue under colour
CRESCENTS - Ivory
TICKING - Absent
CHEST BAND - Rich russet orange
CHEEK FLASHES - Brown
EYE COLOUR - Bright claret red
EAR COLOUR - Flesh brown
NOTES.

 

GOLDEN, DARK  ++ (Wild type agouti)

TOP COAT - Rich dark mahogany red carried approximately one third of the way down
BASE COLOUR - Dark slate grey
BELLY FUR - Ivory, with grey under colour
CRESCENTS - Pale ivory, almost white
TICKING - Heavily and evenly ticked with black, dorsal line and hair on scalp intensely shaded.  Face to be swarthy with black eye rings.
CHEST BAND - Rich dark mahogany red
CHEEK FLASHES - Black
EYE COLOUR - Black
EAR COLOUR - Dark grey, almost black
NOTES.

GREY, DARK (dgdg)

TOP COAT - Pearly grey carried approximately one quarter of the way down
BASE COLOUR - Dark slate grey
BELLY FUR - Ivory, with a grey under coat
CRESCENTS - Ivory
TICKING - Heavily and evenly ticked with black, shaded as for dark golden, i.e. face to be swarthy with black eye rings
CHEST BAND - Very dark slate grey
CHEEK FLASHES - Black
EYE COLOUR - Black
EAR COLOUR - Dark grey, almost black
NOTES.

GREY, LIGHT (Lglg)

TOP COAT - Buttermilk-grey, carried approximately one third of the way down
BASE COLOUR - Dark slate grey
BELLY FUR - Buttermilk, with grey base-colour
CRESCENTS - Buttermilk
TICKING - Heavily and evenly ticked with dark grey, almost black, shaded as for dark golden
CHEST BAND - Dark brown/grey
CHEEK FLASHES - Dark grey, almost black (concentrated ticking)
EYE COLOUR - Black
EAR COLOUR - Dark grey
NOTES.

GREY, SILVER (SgSg)

TOP COAT - Light Silvery Grey
BASE COLOUR - Dark Slate Grey
BELLY FUR - Light Silvery Grey to the roots-no ticking
CRESCENTS - Light Silvery Grey
TICKING - Heavy and evenly ticked with Black (excluding belly fur)
CHEST BAND - Mid Grey
CHEEK FLASHES - Concentrated Black ticking
EYE COLOUR - Black
EAR COLOUR - Very dark Grey almost Black
NOTES - This gene has been found to be extremely dominant. Caution should be exercised when breeding these animals.

HONEY (ppTo - male, ppToTo - female)

TOP COAT - Light cinnamon orange to the roots
BASE COLOUR - Light cinnamon orange
BELLY FUR - Ivory, almost white
CRESCENTS - Ivory, almost white
TICKING - Absent
CHEST BAND - Light cinnamon orange
CHEEK FLASHES - Cinnamon
EYE COLOUR - Claret red
EAR COLOUR - Flesh grey
NOTES.

LILAC (dgdgpp)

TOP COAT - Soft pale grey with pinkish tone
BASE COLOUR - Soft pale grey
BELLY FUR - Ivory
CRESCENTS - Ivory with a pinkish tone
TICKING - Absent
CHEST BAND - Soft pale grey with pinkish tone
CHEEK FLASHES - Warm grey 
EYE COLOUR - Claret red
EAR COLOUR - Pinkish grey
NOTES.

RUST (GUINEA GOLD) (bb)

TOP COAT - Rich orange brown
BASE COLOUR - Brownish grey
BELLY FUR - Ivory, with pale grey under colour
CRESCENTS - Ivory
TICKING - Light and even ticking of brown
CHEST BAND - Deep rust brown
CHEEK FLASHES - Deep rust brown
EYE COLOUR - Very dark brown, almost black
EAR COLOUR - Dark grey with a hint of pink
NOTES.

SMOKE PEARL (dgdgTo = male; dgdgToTo = female)

TOP COAT - Pale greyish cream to the roots
BASE COLOUR - Pale greyish cream
BELLY FUR - Ivory, almost white
CRESCENTS - Ivory, almost white
TICKING - Heavy and even black ticking
CHEST BAND - Pale greyish cream
CHEEK FLASHES - Black - not solid but concentrated ticking
EYE COLOUR - Black
EAR COLOUR - Dark grey, almost black
NOTES.

YELLOW (To = male; ToTo = female)

TOP COAT - Rich dusky yellow carried well down
BASE COLOUR - Ivory yellow
BELLY FUR - Ivory
CRESCENTS - Ivory
TICKING - Heavy and even black ticking overall
CHEST BAND - Rich dusky yellow
CHEEK FLASHES - Black - not solid but concentrated ticking
EYE COLOUR - Black
EAR COLOUR - Dark grey, almost black
NOTES.

SELF VARIETIES

Black

Chocolate

Copper

Cream, Black-eyed

Cream, Red-eyed

Cream, Ruby-eyed

Dove

Ivory, Black-eyed

Ivory, Red-eyed

Mink

Sable

White, Black-eyed

White, dark eared

White, flesh/pale eared


BLACK (aa)

TOP COAT - Black; white feet are permissible, and shall not be penalised.  All other markings shall be penalised.
BASE COLOUR - Black
BELLY FUR - Black
CRESCENTS - Absent
TICKING - Absent
CHEST BAND - Absent
CHEEK FLASHES - Absent
EYE COLOUR - Black 
EAR COLOUR - Black
NOTES - Genetic details; This is a melanistic black, produced by a simple recessive gene, and is capable of true breeding.  The genotype for this colour is "aa".

CHOCOLATE  (aabb)

TOP COAT - Dark chocolate brown carried well down
BASE COAT - Mid brown
BELLY FUR - Dark chocolate brown
CRESCENTS - Absent
TICKING - Absent
CHESTBAND - Absent
CHEEKFLASHES - Absent
EYE COLOUR - Black
EAR COLOUR - Very dark greyish brown.
NOTES - The top colour should be the rich chocolate of plain Bournville chocolate.

COPPER (UUeebbpp)

TOP COAT -Rich clear copper to the roots
BASE COLOUR - Rich clear copper
BELLY FUR - Rich clear copper
CRESCENTS - Absent
TICKING - Absent
CHEST BAND - Absent
CHEEK FLASHES - Absent
EYE COLOUR - Garnet
EAR COLOUR - Copper grey
NOTES.

CREAM, BLACK-EYED  (ee)

TOP COAT - Deep rich cream to the roots
BASE COLOUR - Deep rich cream
BELLY FUR - Deep rich cream
CRESCENTS - Absent
TICKING - Absent
CHEST BAND - Absent
CHEEK FLASHES - Absent
EYE COLOUR - Black
EAR COLOUR - Dark grey, almost black
NOTES.

CREAM, RED-EYED (eepp)

TOP COAT - Deep rich pinkish cream to the roots
BASE COLOUR - Deep rich pinkish cream 
BELLY FUR - Deep rich pinkish cream 
CRESCENTS - Absent
TICKING - Absent
CHEST BAND - Absent
CHEEK FLASHES - Absent
EYE COLOUR - Claret red
EAR COLOUR - Peach grey
NOTES.

CREAM, RUBY-EYED  (eeruru)

TOP COAT - Warm pastel cream to the roots
BASE COLOUR - Warm pastel cream
BELLY FUR - Warm pastel cream
CRESCENTS - Absent
TICKING - Absent
CHEST BAND - Absent
CHEEK FLASHES - Absent
EYE COLOUR - Ruby
EAR COLOUR - Flesh
NOTES.

DOVE (aapp)

TOP COAT - Dove grey with a deep lilac tone, to the roots.
BASE COLOUR - Dove grey with a deep lilac tone.
BELLY FUR - Dove grey with a deep lilac tone.
CRESCENTS - Absent
TICKING - Absent
CHEST BAND - Absent
CHEEK FLASHES - Absent
EYE COLOUR - Claret red
EAR COLOUR - Flesh grey
NOTES


IVORY, BLACK-EYED   (eeLglg or eedgdg)

TOP COAT - Pale greyish cream to the roots
BASE COLOUR - Pale greyish cream
BELLY FUR - Pale greyish cream
CRESCENTS - Absent
TICKING - Absent
CHEST BAND - Absent
CHEEK FLASHES - Absent
EYE COLOUR - Black
EAR COLOUR - Dark grey, almost black
NOTES.

IVORY, RED-EYED  (eeLglgpp or eedgdgpp)

TOP COAT - Pale greyish cream to the roots
BASE COLOUR - Pale greyish cream
BELLY FUR - Pale greyish cream
CRESCENTS - Absent
TICKING - Absent
CHEST BAND - Absent
CHEEK FLASHES - Absent
EYE COLOUR - Garnet
EAR COLOUR - Pinkish grey
NOTES.


MINK (UUeepp or Uueepp)

TOP COAT - Warm mid brown with an orange tinge.  The eyes shall be ringed with fine pinkish cream hairs.
BASE COLOUR - Deep, rich pinkish cream.
BELLY FUR - Warm mid brown with an orange tinge.
CRESCENTS - Absent
TICKING - Absent
CHEST BAND -Absent
CHEEK FLASHES - Absent
EYE COLOUR - Claret red
EAR COLOUR - Flesh grey
NOTES


SABLE  (UUee)

TOP COAT - Black, carried well down.  The eyes shall be ringed with fine ivory cream hairs.
BASE COLOUR - Ivory cream
BELLY FUR - Black
CRESCENTS - Absent
TICKING - Absent
CHEST BAND - Absent
CHEEK FLASHES - Absent
EYE COLOUR - Black 
EAR COLOUR - Dark grey, almost black
NOTES. This is not a solid jet black animal due to the presence of its undercolour. Browning will be penalised.


WHITE, BLACK-EYED  (eeDsds or eeWhwh or ???)

TOP COAT - White to the roots
BASE COLOUR - White
BELLY FUR - White
CRESCENTS - Absent
TICKING - Absent
CHEST BAND - Absent
CHEEK FLASHES - Absent
EYE COLOUR - Black
EAR COLOUR - Flesh 
NOTES.

WHITE (ALBINO), DARK EARED  (cdcd)

TOP COAT - White to the roots
BASE COLOUR - White
BELLY FUR - White
CRESCENTS - Absent
TICKING - Absent
CHEST BAND - Absent
CHEEK FLASHES - Absent
EYE COLOUR - Red
EAR COLOUR - Dark grey, almost black
NOTES - Eyes darken with age

WHITE (ALBINO), FLESH EARED  (cdcdpp)

TOP COAT - White to the roots
BASE COLOUR - White
BELLY FUR - White
CRESCENTS - Absent
TICKING - Absent
CHEST BAND - Absent
CHEEK FLASHES - Absent
EYE COLOUR - Bright clear pink
EAR COLOUR - Flesh
NOTES.

PATTERNED VARIETIES

Care must be taken when breeding patterned animals as some patterns contain the anopthalmic or white bellied gene, (Wh).

Dominant Spot

White Band

Banded Dominant Spot

Tortoiseshell and White

Tortoiseshell

Roan

 

DOMINANT SPOT (PIEBALD) (Dsds or ss)


1.    The dominant spot shall have the appearance of a white animal with coloured spots.  The spots shall be sharply defined and evenly distributed over the top surface of the animal.

2.    The belly fur shall be white.

3.    The white areas shall be white to the roots.

4.    The coloured spots shall conform to the recognised corresponding full coloured variety.

5.    Eye colour: as for the full coloured variety, also ruby/red eye or eyes permissible.

6.    Ear colour: as for the full coloured variety, also flesh or partly flesh coloured permissible.

NOTES


WHITE BAND (BaBa or Baba)


1.    The white banded animal shall have the appearance of coloured animal with a superimposed white band.  The white band shall completely encircle the body and be centrally placed and not skewed.  The width shall be approximately one third of the body length, completely unbroken with sharply defined and parallel margins.

2.    The belly fur shall be white.

3.    The white areas shall be white to the roots.

4.    The coloured areas shall conform to the recognised full colour variety.

5.    Eye colour: as for the full coloured variety, also ruby/red eye or eyes permissible.

6.    Ear colour: as for the full coloured variety, also flesh or partly flesh coloured permissible.

NOTES


BANDED DOMINANT SPOT (BaBaDsds or BabaDsds)


1.    The Banded Dominant Spot hamster shall have the appearance of a dominant spot or piebald animal with a broad white band superimposed. The white band shall extend from the neck to the hips, ideally 2/3 of the body length, and contain no coloured markings.  The head and the rump shall conform to the Dominant Spot or Piebald standard, (i.e. give the appearance of the white animal with coloured markings).

2.    Coloured areas shall conform to the relevant colour standard.  White areas shall be white to the roots.
3.    Belly fur shall be white to the roots.
4.    Eye colour shall be as for the full coloured variety.  Red or ruby eye or eyes are also permissible.
5.    Ear colour shall be as for the full coloured variety.  Mottled ears are also permissible.

TORTOISESHELL AND WHITE (TotoBaba, TotoBaBa, or TotoDsds)


1.    A tortoiseshell is a sex-linked bi-coloured animal.  The standard calls for a tricoloured animal which is produced by combining the tortoiseshell with a white pattern gene.  The coat colour shall consist of a balanced pattern of coloured, yellow and white patches.  These patches shall be clear and distinct with no brindling.

2.    The coloured areas shall conform to the recognised full colour variety whilst the yellow shall be a rich creamy yellow when in combination with the golden, but shall be present in a diluted form when combined with other recognised colours. e.g.

Main Colour Yellow
   
Golden Rich Apricot Yellow
Dark grey Smoke pearl
Cinnamon Honey
Lilac Lilac Pearl

3.    The belly fur shall be white.
4.    Eye colour: as stipulated for the full colour variety; also red/ruby eye or eyes permissible.
5.    Ear colour: as stipulated for the full colour variety; also flesh or partly flesh coloured permissible.
NOTES - Sex linked.


TORTOISESHELL (Toto)


1.    Overall Appearance:  A tortoiseshell is a bi-coloured animal which consists of a balanced pattern of coloured and yellow patches.  These patches shall be clear and distinct with no brindling.

2.    The coloured areas shall conform to the recognised full colour variety whilst the yellow shall be a rich creamy yellow when in combination with the golden, but shall be present in a diluted form when combined with other recognised colours. e.g.

Main Colour Yellow
   
Golden Rich Apricot Yellow
Dark grey Smoke pearl
Cinnamon Honey
Lilac Lilac Pearl

3.     Eye Colour            As for the full coloured variety

4.     Ear Colour            As for the full coloured variety

ROAN (Whwh)


1.    Overall Appearance:  The Roan shall have the appearance of a white animal ticked with colour. The ticking shall be heavy around the head and give an evenly marbled appearance over the remainder of the top coat. The white areas shall be white to the roots. The coloured areas shall conform to the recognised coloured variety allowing for slight dilution.
    
2.    The belly fur shall be marbled with colour.
    
3.    Eye Colour: As for the full coloured variety also ruby or red eye or eyes permissible.

4.    Ear Colour: As for the full coloured variety also flesh or partly flesh coloured ears permissible.

COAT VARIETIES

Long hair

Satin

Rex

LONG HAIR


1.    The colour and markings shall conform to the recognised colour standard, allowing for the dilution effect of the long-haired gene; this is particularly noticeable on the ticking of agouti varieties, but will also affect other varieties.

2.    The fur shall be soft, very dense, and evenly long over the entire top surface of the body, excluding the face, where it shall be shorter.  Special attention shall be paid to the density of the belly fur.  The coat shall be as long and dense as possible, but allowance must be made for sex, i.e. males must have longer fur than females, and the females shall not be penalised for having shorter fur.

NOTES    This coat type may be combined with satin and/or rex.


SATIN


1.    The colour and markings shall conform to the recognised colour standard, allowing for the effect of the satinisation.

2.    The fur shall be soft and dense, and have a glossy, satin sheen.

NOTES    This coat type may be combined with long hair and/or rex.

Under no circumstances should two satins be mated together, as this will result in "double satinisation" and, eventually, almost naked hamsters.  A satin must only be mated with a non-satinised variety.


REX


1.    The colour and markings shall conform to the recognised colour standard, for diluting effect of the rex gene; this is particularly noticeable on the ticking of agouti varieties, but will also affect other varieties.

2.    The coat shall be soft and dense, and evenly "frizzy".

3.    The whiskers shall be curly.

NOTES    This coat type may be combined with satin and/or long hair.

 

Roborovskii hamsters 

 

The Roborovski dwarf hamster or Desert hamster (Lat.: Phodopus Roborovskii) originates from Mongolia and Northern China where they will inhabit semi-arid areas with little vegetation. They live in burrows with steep tunnels some 2-6 feet beneath the sand. In the wild they are most active in September to November.
Roborovskis seem to be the most efficient in economizing their water needs. They are able to highly concentrate their urine and survive on less water than other dwarf hamsters. Of the Phodopus genus, Roborovskis are best adapted to desert life. They are also much less sensitive to cold temperatures. They are, however, very sensitive to heat. 

Lt. Roborovski first made reports of it during an expedition near Nan Shan in July 1894. One of the first to study this hamster in captivity was zoölogist Satunin, around 1903. 
It was not until the late 1970’s that the Zoological Society of London obtained the Roborovski Hamster from the Moscow Zoo but unfortunately these did not breed. 
Some European countries were more successful in breeding the Roborovskis acquired from Russia and the Roborovskis now kept in the UK were imported by a hamster breeder from Holland in 1990. 
It would be as recent as 1998 before a group of Roborovski Hamsters were imported by a hamster breeder into the US. Although the Roborovski is still quite rare in the United States. 
In the past years there have been attempts to breed from Roborovskis caught from the wild in Russia, but they would fail to reproduce or die due to stress. The domesticated Roborovski has for the most part shed this breeding impairment as it becomes more widely bred and held as a pet.

 

 

Appearance

The Roborovski is very easy to recognise due to it's coat's features and size. The coat colours vary, but not too much. Here is an easy to read chart of what the average Roborovski should look/be like. 
Size - 4 to 4.5cm (not 7 cm like you sometimes hear) [1.5 to 1.75 inches] 
Weight - 22 to 26 grams 
Feet - 4 toes on front paw and 5 on the hind (larger) paw 
Lifespan - 2 to 3 and a half years (highest recorded is over 4 years) 
Colours - Agouti (wild or 'natural'), White faced

Agouti 
Also known as 'wild' or 'natural' colouring. This is the most common form of colouring found in pet stores. The agouti coat is sandy coloured with the roots of the hairs grey. All coloured Roborovski's don't have dorsal stripes like other dwarf hamsters. Agouti Robo's all have adorable little white eyebrows which everybody knows and loves. White faced robo's don't have these as their faces are completely white. Their ears have a tiny bit of black to the side of them with a patch of white behind the them. The belly is completely white (well, male Robo's have a tiny patch of gold where their scent gland is), and eyes are pure black with no cloudiness or red patches around them. the noses are beautifully pink surrounded by white and sandy coloured fur. The whiskers should be many and long. They are white with darker whiskers closer to the eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

White Faced Robo's


Also called 'White mask' or 'Husky' Robo's. Although there are some theories that tampering with the colouring has produced Robo's which later in life can have health problems (more on that later). The white face coat is same as the agouti except for the usual white eyebrow feature which is not present in this variation. Instead the whole face is white. The rest of the body shows the normal agouti color, though lighter versions show up too. 
The white face pattern first appeared in Sweden around 2002 before making its way into Europe. 
It is wierd, though. In one reported case two agouti's mated, with the offspring being one Agouti pup and one white-faced with a diluted colour (look below) This is called a 'Recessive gene'.