An Alphabet of Hamster Facts (A)

by Anne Dray

Albino

Anophthalmic White

Antibiotics

Argente

Albino

There is no albino Syrian at present. The hamster normally seen on the show bench is a combination of dark-eared albino (cdcd) and cinnamon (pp) with the cinnamon diluting the dark ear colour of the dark-eared albino to flesh-coloured. It also removes the black pigment near the vent and in the eyes. Mating a dark-eared albino to a pale-eared albino will produce all dark-eared albino offspring. Mating a pale-eared albino to a cinnamon will produce all cinnamon offspring.

Producing a pale-eared albino from a dark-eared albino and a cinnamon is not simply a case of mating the two together. When a dark-eared albino and a cinnamon are crossed, the resultant offspring will all be golden, carrying dark-eared albino and cinnamon. Mating two of the golden offspring will produce the following proportions of young:

9 golden: 3 dark-eared albino: 3 cinnamon: 1 pale-eared albino

Genetically, the golden offspring are all Cdcd Pp

Parental genes

CdP

Cdp

cdP

cdp

CdP

CdCdPP

Golden

CdCdPp

Golden

CdcdPP

Golden

CdcdPp

Golden

Cdp

CdCdPp

Golden

CdCdpp

Cinnamon

CdcdPp

Golden

Cdcdpp

Cinnamon

cdP

CdcdPP

Golden

CdcdPp

Golden

cdcdPP

Dark-eared albino

cdcdPp

Dark-eared albino

cdp

CdcdPp

Golden

Cdcdpp

Cinnamon

cdcdPp

Dark-eared albino

cdcdpp

Pale-eared albino

 

Anophthalmic White

Anophthalmic (or eyeless) white hamsters are produced when two white-bellied hamsters are crossed. The white-bellied gene, Wh, is an incomplete dominant and is expressed in the single dose (heterozygous) form as white belly fur on agouti-type colours, and produces a roan effect on most self colours. In the double dose (homozygous) form, the gene is fully expressed and approximately 25% of the offspring of a white-bellied to white-bellied mating are born with absent or vestigial eyes and are white in colour. These offspring will survive and if mated to a normal hamster will produce 100% white-bellied offspring. It is recommended that breeders avoid letting white-bellied hamsters enter the pet market, as novice breeders can (and do, I know from experience) mate white-bellied hamsters together and produce eyeless whites.

Antibiotics

A common antibiotic, penicillin, can prove toxic to hamsters and as some hamster keepers have found out to their cost, not all vets remember this fact when selecting appropriate antibiotic treatments. Some antibiotics are supplied under brand names and it may not be immediately obvious that they are penicillin-based. If in doubt, ask your vet to check.

 Argente

An orange/cinnamon-coloured dilution of the Campbell’s russian hamster. Argentes are pale orange in colour with red eyes, brownish dorsal stripe and ivory-coloured belly fur. They can occur in satin and mottled versions. Argente is a recessive gene with argente to argente matings producing 100% argente. Argente mated to an argente carrier will produce 50% argente and 50% normal. Argente is not yet a standard colour under BHA exhibition standards, but discussions on a standard are underway. 

Back to Journal