This page is obviously still very incomplete, because research into genetics at African Pygmy Hedgehogs is still in full swing. However, we now have a number of genes that have been published on our website. As there is more known about genetics throughout the research, we will supplement this page.
You’ll find the complete list of colors and genes at the bottom of this page.
Dark grey – **
Picture by Hedgery of the High Moors.
Dark grey is considered the wild color as it is the most common variety known worldwide. All combinations which do not support the other colors, turn out dark grey and, while pairing up two dark greys, you can get a wide variety of colors depending on which genes they carry with them. Therefore Dark grey does not have a genetic code, because Dark grey is the lack of any overpowering genes. Dark grey has a dark grey skin, black quills, a dark grey to black nose and the mask is dark grey with a brownish hue.
Black – aa
Picture by Hedgery Dèvi
Black is a melanistic gene causing the hedgehog to be extremely dark, making it black. Their mask, nose, skin and quills are black. Whether or not they are Algerian, a true black always has some mottling on their belly and has dark grey to black legs and feet. A Black without Algerian is often referred to as ‘Salt&Pepper’. However it is a melanistic gene, the hedgehog always has a white belly. Badger stripes often are often present but are not required to form a good black. Black also is a recessive gene and is incomplete dominant at the same time. Carriers of the black gene are really grey instead of having the usual brownish hue in their mask. They also tend to be darker than usual and do not fade as much.
Brown – bb
Picture by Hedgery of the High Moors.
Brown is made from the brown dilute gene which causes a Dark grey to be lighter and a little browner. The skin is dark grey to mid brown, the nose is dark brown, quills are mid to dark chocolate and the mask is light brown. Many people often mistake a good brown with chocolate because of the darkness of the quills. Brown dilute is a recessive gene.
Albino – cc
Picture by Hedgery Priklee.
Albino is a recessive gene and causes a complete blockade on the production of the pigment. The animal has pink eyes and a full white fur and white quills.
Grey – dd
Picture by Hedgery of the High Moors
Grey is made out of a dilute gene which causes a dark grey to be lighter. The mask can vary from mid grey to brown, the nose is dark grey to black and the quills are black or dark grey. Skin is grey to dark grey. Dilute is recessive.
Pinto variations – Pi
The Pinto gene is a dominant gene which causes white spots. These white spots are seen from an early age. It is the mottling factor in African Pygmy Hedgehogs. The genetic code of Pinto is ‘Pi’. The gene needs only one allele in order to show but is not lethal in homozygous form. There is no difference seen in the amount of white in homozygous animals.
Although Pinto is a dominant gene, it is also codominant. There are two different recessive genes within the Pinto variation.
Reversed Pinto – Pirv
Reversed pinto is the co-dominant gene that causes the hedgehog to have only a small, colored patch on the back. There are some animals known in which the mask is visible, this is a fault and is not genetically inheritable. However, it is more common in certain lines but it devolves completely randomly. Reversed Pintos come with black eyes, ruby, or pink eyes as a result of the disruption of the pigment production. The real eye color can therefore only be verified by means of the genetic code. Sometimes this can make it more difficult to determine the base color. A fully white hedgehog, looking much like Leucistic, are referred to as Full Reversed Pinto.
Pinto face – Pif
Pinto face is the general term for all the variations that occur in the mask, such as blaze, splitface, whiteface, eye patch, and so on. These patterns are inherited by means of a single co-dominant gene. The varying mask drawings themselves are based on modifiers. They inherit randomly but can be bred to be more stable through modifiers by selection.
Although both co-dominant genes are recessive, in a combination of both genes (Pirv/f) it always shows up as Reversed Pinto. That is because Reversed Pinto makes the mask invisible.
Snowflake – S
A dominant silvering gene where the homozygous form (SS) is much whiter than in heterozygous (Ss) form. Young hedgehogs seem to grow up normal, but as of 6 weeks they start slowly getting whiter and whiter. Only with the age of one year, after the last quilling, their final whiteness is truly seen and it remains stable. Where a heterozygous hedgehog gets to 75% white quills, a homozygous Snowflake is up to 100% white! The masks are not affected by this gene, it only affects the quills. The homozygous form is also known as White or Platinum.
There are rumors that there is a recessive form of Snowflake, but so far we have yet to find any evidence of this. However, we do not exclude it. If you encounter something about it let us know! We are very curious how this would inherit.
List of genes