|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.