The following is a brief description of the mouse markings as recognized by the American Fancy Rat and Mouse Association. See Fancy Mouse Genes: Marked for genetics.
For complete details of these Standards including points, faults, and disqualifications, please refer to the AFRMA Show Regulations & Standards book.
Note: The pictures on this page are not meant to be true representatives of the animal’s color. Because of differences in monitors (CRT/LCD) and how the monitor is adjusted, the colors may be different. Seeing in person is always best.
|BANDED - Banded mice may be shown in any recognized
color. The distinctive feature is the white band around the body to occupy ¼ length of body positioned
at the third quarter of body length from head excluding tail. Sharpness of demarcation prime importance. Feet white.
[Standardized August 29, 1998; amended June 7, 2008]
Note: Mice with the neatest front feet have more white on the tail; choose breeding stock with whole colored tails and white front feet where possible
Black Banded mouse owned and bred by Nancy Ferris. Photo ©1997 Craig Robbins.
|BROKEN MARKED - Broken Marked mice may be shown in any
recognized color. They have as many colored spots or patches as possible on a white background, even in size,
sharply defined, and distributed irregularly over the body. A spot of some size is preferred on the head.
Agouti Broken Marked mouse owned by Kelli Boka, bred by Sarah Cudbill, England. Photo ©2008 Craig Robbins.
|BROKEN MERLE - Broken colored Merles are a white mouse
with roan and solid patches added to give areas of pure roan, dark patches, and white patches. The different
patched areas to show balance between the three different “colors.” Eye color to match base color.
[Standardized June 12, 1999]
Black Broken Merle mouse owned and bred by Carissa Cosley. Photo ©1998 Craig Robbins.
Black Broken Merle mouse owned and bred by Helen Pembrook. Photo ©1999 Craig Robbins.
|DUTCH - Dutch marked mice may be shown in any
recognized color, and will have markings like those of a Dutch rabbit. The forward half of the body
will be white, with the exception of the cheek patches. These are located on either side of the head,
and are to include the ears, upper jowls, and the area immediately forward of the eyes. The cheek
markings should be well rounded and balanced, and clear of the whiskers. A wedge shaped blaze of
white should run from muzzle to neck, running between colored ears. The saddle on the rear half of
the body should be of solid color, and the dividing line between color and white should be as
straight and clean-cut as possible, above and under as well. The color should extend well into
the tail, and the remaining area should be flesh-colored. The white stops on the hind feet should
be uniform in length, and their dividing line should be about halfway between the toes and the hocks.
The white portion of the Dutch should be a clean, pure white, and all markings should be clear
and sharp. Dutch mice are normally cobby and smaller in body type.
Blue Dutch mouse owned and bred by Troya Duncanson. Photo ©1994 Craig Robbins.
|EVEN MARKED - Even marked mice may be shown in any
recognized color. They should be of any uniform pattern other than Dutch markings, and should have as
many clear-cut and balanced spots or patches as possible.
Agouti Even Marked mouse owned and bred by Karen Hauser. Photo© Karen Hauser.
HEREFORD - Eye color to be as in standard variety. The body color shall be that of any standardized
color. The face shall be white, extending to a V shape that terminates just beyond the line of the ears,
the white going under the chin and be clean cut, but not extending down the throat. The ears and tail
shall be of standardized color with the latter half of the tail being white. The belly shall have a
uniform white marking, starting between the front legs and ending at the vent with the white not to
extend up the sides of the body or down the legs. The feet shall be white. Any other markings on the
top shall be considered a fault. The white areas shall be pure and devoid of any color or staining.
This is more in line with the breed of cattle and less like the self colored mouse with a white face
and feet. The belly mark is generally thought to be best as a rectangle shaped bar or line starting
between the front legs and ending at the vent. Originator E. Jukes 2003. (English, N.M.C.; accepted June 7, 2008)
Chocolate Hereford mouse owned by Kelli Boka, bred by Phil Arnold, England. Photo ©2008 Craig Robbins.
“The spontaneous coat color mutant white nose (wn) maps to murine Chromosome 15.” (click “Look Inside”)
RUMP WHITE - Rump White is any standard color having a white rump. The line of demarcation
should be straight and encircle the body so that the lower third of the mouse, including the hind
feet and tail, is completely white. The remaining color must be without any white markings at all
and should conform to the standard laid down for that variety. (English, N.M.C.; accepted June 7, 2008)
Chocolate Tan Rump White mouse owned by Kelli Boka, bred by David Safe, England. Photo ©2008 Karen Robbins.
“Rump white inversion in the mouse disrupts dipeptidyl aminopeptidase-like protein 6 and causes dysregulation of Kit expression.”
SPOTTED TANS - Spotted tans may be shown in any recognized color, and may include
Banded, Even Marked, Broken Marked, Dutch, Variegated, Broken Merle, Hereford, and Rump White. Where the spotting
pattern runs into the stomach, the color should be a rich golden-red tan. Color patches should
be clear-cut, showing no brindling or intermingling or white hairs. Preferable, several colored
spots should be low on the body, to show as much contrast as possible with the top color and the
Note: These mice are mistakenly called “Tri-Color” because of the three colors
Spotted Tan (Broken Merle) owned by Virginia Pochmann. Photo © Virginia Pochmann.
Note the orange by the back leg. This is where the top color “ran” onto the bottom and because of the Tan gene, was changed from the Black to the orange of the Tan.
A Chocolate Spotted Tan (Broken Marked) mouse from 1980 owned and bred by Karen Hauser. Photo ©1980 Debbie Hauser.
Note the orange by the back leg and under the cheek. This is where the top color “ran” onto the bottom and because of the Tan gene, was changed from the Chocolate to the orange of the Tan.
VARIEGATED - Variegated mice may be shown in any recognized color, splashed on a white background,
and free from any solid, clear-cut markings. The splashes should be small and numerous, ragged in
outline but approximately equal in size, and well distributed over the entire body.
Agouti Variegated mouse owned by Nichole Royer. Photo ©1998 Nichole Royer.
“Analysis of Pleiotropism at the Dominant White-Spotting (W) Locus of the House Mouse: A Description of Ten New W Alleles.”
For complete details of the Standards including points, faults, eliminations, and disqualifications, please refer to the
AFRMA Show Regulations & Standards book.
Purchase the AFRMA Official Color Standards Mouse book.