Gray Gene
I have been able to document the existence of a new gray gene in the Campbells dwarves although I am still studying the exact nature of it.  The gene leaves the black color pigment in the coat but removes all yellow pigment.  Thus, the hamster has a silver gray appearance much the same as the color of a normal coated chinchilla.  There is no brown coloration which is so typical of the Campbells normal.  For the time being, I will call it Silver Gray.

Here are the results of some recent pairings.  The pictures follow the results.

1. When the gray hamster was bred to a normal, all babies were normals.  When two of those normal babies were paired together, approximately 25% of the babies were gray confirming that this is a recessive gene.

2. When two grays are bred together, the babies are all gray (actually, in my case, I also got an albino showing that both parents carry albino).  It does not appear to be lethal although more pairings will confirm this.

3. When I bred a gray to a black, I got all normals.  When those babies were paired together, I got normals, grays, and blacks as well as a couple of argente or argente/gray mixed babies.  I did not know that argente was in the line.  I am doing further tests on the two red-eyed babies to confirm whether they are the combined color or just poorly colored argentes.  I did not expect to see any coat difference in any babies of the combined black/gray color due to the nature of the gray gene.  The gray gene does not affect the black pigment.  If anything, I expected a little bit of diluting in the black coat.  Since our black Campbells vary anyway, I did not expect to see anything distinct in the blacks.  So far the three blacks I have gotten all have a good dark black coloration.

4. When I bred a gray to an unrelated albino, I got all normal brown babies.  This confirms that the gray gene is not on the c locus and is not the same as the “chinchilla” gene known in many other species.  I am doing one more mating to confirm this result since I actually believed that this was the chinchilla gene from its appearance.

5. I have the combined opal/gray color.  I have put pictures of the opal/grays below.  Click here for
pictures of the combined colors of argente/gray and argente/opal/gray.
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Litter with Grays and Non-grays
Black, Gray, and Normal littermates
Gray and Opal/Gray combined color
Opal, Gray, and Opal/Gray combined color
This litter includes Grays and Non-grays.  The Grays are quite distinctive.  You can see the silver gray color instead of the brown color of the normals
Above are Black, Normal, and Gray littermates.
On the left is a Gray hamster.  On the right is the Gray/Opal combined color.
On the left is an Opal hamster.  The middle is a Gray hamster, and the right is a Gray/Opal combined hamster.
If you have any ideas on this research, e-mail me.