American Fancy Rat & Mouse Association

This article is from the WSSF 2008 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.

Colors & Coats

Blue-Beige Rats; Ruby-Eyed Blue Rats; Difference Between Dalmatian and Variegated Rats
Blue-Beige Rats

Sarah Paterson-Farrand, Cove Rattery, Saginaw, MI, e-mail
Q As of late, the North American Rat Registry has had a few registrations for “Russian Beige.” The Russian Beige is genetically aa dd rr (Russian blue with RED). As one of the organizations that NARR accepts nomenclature from, I am contacting you to find out if your organization currently has Russian Beige as a standard or provisional standard. If so, I would appreciate that information from your organization’s standards documents.

My understanding is that Blue-Beige is an American Blue RED rat. I am wondering if you currently hold a standard for a RED Russian Blue rat, or if you name them one in the same. Thank you very much for your time.

Blue-Beige, R. Dove, & Beige baby rats
Top–Bottom: A Blue-Beige, Russian Dove, and Beige 11-day-old baby rats owned by Karen Robbins. Note the “blue”tint to the color of the Blue-Beige making it a “cool” color compared to the “warm” color of the Beige.

A AFRMA recognizes “Russian Beige” as Blue-Beige. It has been standardized since March 13, 1999. Our Standard says: “Blue-Beige – Color is a grayish-tan, not too dark, with a blue cast running throughout, not to be confused with Beige. Eye color is dark ruby.” The description is also on the web site with a photo at

In AFRMA, Blue-Beige is/always has been for Russian Blue + Beige (aa dd rr), never has been for regular Blue + Beige (aa gg rr). You can read more details in the Russian Blue article on AFRMA’s web site or in the Summer I999 newsletter. Karen Robbins

Ruby-Eyed Blue Rats

Sarah Paterson-Farrand, Cove Rattery, Saginaw, MI, e-mail
Q Do you have a standard for ruby-eyed Blue rats (an American Blue rat with the RED gene)?

A No. A Blue rat carrying the ruby-eyed gene (rr) looks like a very pale washed-out Beige, almost Champagne, but with ruby eyes. I remember seeing them. They had an intermediate color that really was neither attractive nor distinctive. Thus, no one was ever particularly interested in them. They just looked like bad Beiges. Years ago a friend and I found some cap-stripe Blue rats (Blue in color) with red eyes. Nichole Royer

Difference Between Dalmatian and Variegated Rats

Candy Evans, Wenonah, NJ, e-mail
Q Is there a way to look at a rat and tell the difference between a Dalmation and a Varigated?

A Yes, think of a Variegated as a Hooded rat with splashes on the back instead of a stripe down the spine (they have the same solid head/shoulder area). Variegateds will always have the “hood” marking and varying amounts of splashes, from almost none, to just a few, to a solid mass, and sometimes will have a blaze or streak of white up the face instead of the spot between the ears. They also have no color on their throat area. If you have a lightly marked Variegated, some people may think it is a Bareback but the head spot and white throat are giveaways that it is actually a Variegated.

Whereas a Dalmatian will be completely white with spots all over (on a good one) or mixed/broken marked/mostly dark with small amounts of white on not so good ones. The Dalmatian gene is dominant that extends the amount of white and dilutes and silvers the color. I find I get the best Dalmatians from a Berkshire (out of Dalmatian) bred with a Dalmatian. I do use Variegated with my Dalmatian breedings all the time. Karen Robbins *

Black Variegated rat
A very nicely marked Black Variegated owned and bred by Karen Robbins.

Dalmatian baby rat
A very nicely marked Dalmatian baby rat owned and bred by Karen Robbins.

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Updated January 23, 2015