Colours

Mongolian Gerbil

Meriones unguiculatus

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Nutmeg

Nutmeg gerbil

Colours

The wild colour of Mongolian gerbils is Agouti and selective breeding has given the Mongolian gerbil dozens of different coat colours in captivity. These include basic coat colours such as Argente Cream, Argente Golden, Black, Dove, Golden Agouti, Grey Agouti, Lilac and Slate.

Gerbil also come in more complex colours such as Black Eyed White (BEW), Champagne (Spotted Schimmel), Colorpoint Agouti, Colourpoint black (burmese), Colourpoint grey agouti (smoke/pearl), Colorpoint Nutmeg, Dark Eyed Honey, Dark Tailed White, Honey Cream, Light Colourpoint Agouti, Light Dark Eyed Honey, Nutmeg, Pink eyed White (PEW), Polar Fox, Sapphire, Schimmel, Siamese, Silver Nutmeg, Spotted Siamese, and Topaz.

At between 8-2 weeks gerbils will moult for the first time and with some colourations this can result in a change of colour. The most drastic example is with the Nutmeg as featured on the right, as the orange will gradually fade as the brown ticking of the coat becomes more prominent.

Eye colours

Gerbil eyes come in black, wine (black with a reddish tint), ruby (deep red) and pink. There are no albino gerbils - these are either pink eyed whites or red eyed whites.

Gerbils with pink or ruby eyes can have poorer eyesight that those with black, and sometimes you can observe a pink-eyed gerbil rocking slightly which shows they are having difficult focusing. If this is observed in a black-eyed gerbil then it should be investigated as it could be a sign of an ear infection or other illness.

Polar Fox

Polar Fox gerbil

Patterns

In addition to the basic colours:

  • Spotted: spotted gerbils have a small diamond on their forehead. They may also have a small amount of white on the neck, but this will not go further down the shoulders.
  • Pied: pied gerbils have white markings on the forehead and the neck. The white will also be on shoulders and down to front paws with some visible on their lower back.
  • Mottled: mottled gerbils have more white than pied gerbils and heavier markings on their lower back. Where the white is more widespread, this is known as heavy mottled.
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