American Fancy Rat & Mouse Association

This article is from the WSSF 2013 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.

Colors & Coats

Mice With White Undercolor, Siamese Smoke Mice

By Karen Robbins

Rena Popma, TX
QDo you know where I could find information to better understand mouse undercoat color? I have what appears to be dark and heavily marked Black Splashed Siamese Fox mice that if you blow back the fur, it’s bright white underneath. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

“Siamese Smoke” Long Hair mouse
A “Siamese Smoke” Long Hair mouse owned by Amber Naugle, Mad Science Mousery, Baltimore, MD, bred by Michele Graves, Wildside Exotics, Ohio.

QI am a small breeder in Texas. A few of us have been trying to trace back some mice called Siamese Smoke that no one seems to know much about. I have traced them back to someone in Maryland who may have imported them to the U.S. from the U.K. about 15 years ago. Few people remember back that far. I was hoping you might know something of this even though it would have been on the East Coast. They were then passed on to another breeder who had them till a couple years ago when they were given to Michele Graves in Ohio. Michele then began giving them to various breeders at RodentFest to preserve and expand the line.

Blue “Smoke” Long Hair U.K. mouse
Blue “Smoke” Long Hair U.K. mouse.

Here is a photo of a Blue with dark eyes (the Siamese Smokes in the U.S. have ruby) that the breeder was thinking might be Pearl. They are in the U.K. from the Netherlands or perhaps Finland that were from old U.K. stock. They are from a Siamese Texel [Long Hair Curly, Ed.] line. All other U.K. results have been negative so far.

One breeder has bred Smoke to Smoke and has a small group of them. The Smoke have been reported in both Self and Splashed—always paired with the Siamese. People are only now developing a serious interest in them. Any help you could give us would be most appreciated.

“Smoke” Long Hair mouse
“Smoke” Long Hair bred by Michele Graves, Wildside Exotics, owned by Nicole Bustamante, Just For Fuzzies, OH. Photo by Nicole Bustamante.

“Smoke” Long Hair mouse
“Smoke” Long Hair from “Smoke” x “Smoke” breeding, owned and bred by Michele Graves, Wildside Exotics, OH.

ASounds interesting! Our AOC colors page describes what the undercolor should be for each AOC color. There is a topic on the Finnmouse forum about some Agouti mice with a white undercolor, also the same topic on The Mouse Connection forum [site now gone, Ed.]. Normally Black mice won’t have a different undercolor like the Agouti colors. Silver Grey and Pearl mice will have a light/whitish undercolor with black tips.

Regarding the Siamese Smoke, there is a topic on The Mouse Connection forum about these [site now gone, Ed.] as well as on Fancy Mice Breeders forum, Perhaps your Splashed mice came from the same origin?

The Blue with the white undercolor looks nothing like Pearl. Pearl just have the tips of the hairs colored and look ticked where the smoke mice look more like self until you blow into the coat (or in the case of long hairs, the length allows some of the undercolor to show through).

The ruby eyes of the Siamese Smoke would make sense if they are Siamese with something else going on. The only thing I’ve ever seen similar are Siamese that get too cold as babies and they will have that darker tipping but it goes away when they molt. Since these mice keep the white undercolor and are being seen in other colors, then it looks like this is something genetic. The dark ones look similar to Siamese Sable mice but with the light undercoat.

In the picture of the mouse on the glass, it reminds me of the Marten/Red Eyed Devil (RED) rats in Holland/U.K.:

It will be interesting to see if you can get this in other colors here, or if it will only show on Siamese and Splashed colors. Keep us posted on the outcome of these new mice.

Ed. Note: The mice have since been traced to U.S. bred stock from someone in the Midwest, not from the U.K. (Michelle Graves got hers from Diana Potter who got hers from Pat Smouse who got them from a Midwest breeder). *

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Updated March 23, 2016