This article is from the July/Aug. 1996 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.
Colors & Coats
Becky Long, CA
QI have three rats, and I have a question about one of them. The rat’s name is Cookie, and I think she is a Himalayan but I’m not positive. In your Standards Book you describe a Himalayan as having dark points on the face, ears, all legs, and tail. Cookie however is not colored in some of these places. Her body color is white with no stains. Her eyes are a bright red. She has a dark brown smudge on her nose and it goes a little ways up the face but doesn’t reach the eyes. She also has a dark ring around the top of the tail. We cannot find any other variety that describes her unless she is unstandardized. Does she sound like a Himalayan to you?
AIt sounds like your rat is a Himalayan. Most Himis have very light points (nose, ears, feet, tail), and a white body. Sometimes poor Siamese are confused with Himis; however, even a Siamese whose color is not very good will have a beige-ish body and darker points. Your rat appears to be missing the points on its feet, and this has two possible causes. Your rat may be very lightly marked, thus the color on its feet is so pale that it is undetectable. It is also possible that your rat is actually marked. A Berkshire Himi will have white feet, but you will not be able to see the white on the stomach because the rest of the rat is already white. If you look at your rat’s tail, you may discover that there is pigment (color) at the base, then a ways down the tail the pigment suddenly disappears. This corresponds to the white tail tip on a Berkshire, and is a good indication that your rat is marked. Nichole Royer
Georgette Curran, ME
QI have some mice I do not believe are in the standards. I have Tri-colored—Black/Tan/White, Brown/Tan/White, and Gray/Tan/White. Also, are Satin and metallic the same? I have shiny bronze-colored mice, white enamel, and black enamel. I also have some light gray somewhat long silky-haired ones. I do not remember seeing any of these in the standards.
AJudging from your description and drawing you have Spotted Tans not Tri-colors. In these mice when a spot falls onto the belly area of the mouse, just the area the spot would occupy is tan. The rest of the stomach is white. A spot on the side going onto the belly will be evenly divided right at the bottom of the mouse. The complete spot is actually two colors. This is not a true Tri-color. A Tri will have a white background with spots of two different colors on the top side of the mouse. These are very rare and usually do not produce Tri’s when bred. The exception is produced by a gene called Varitint-Waddler which also causes waltzing so is undesirable.
Your shiny (metallic and enamel) mice are Satins. Satin can come in any color, and the black and white ones do look like they have been painted with enamel paint. Your bronze could be one of a number of colors including Agouti, Fawn, Chocolate, and Coffee. Long Haired mice can come in combinations with any other coat type, so you can have standard coated Long Hairs, long haired Frizzies, and Long Haired Satins (which is what yours are). Light gray could possibly mean Lilac, Dove, Silver, or Blue.