Lionhead Color ID

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Do not take any pictures or content without express permission from the site owner.

Please note that this is not a list of colors that we actively breed or have available. This compilation of colors is for educational purpose only.

This page will be constantly evolving, so please continue to check back and feel free to also send pictures of your own if you have something we are missing! Please keep in mind that color names vary widely (especially overseas) and, unless they are recognized for the breed in the ARBA Standard of Perfection, do not have official use in the USA.


Black ~ aaB-C-D-E-

Black

Other color names: self black

Colors that can be confused: seal, black self chin, dark siamese sable, potentially variations of steel although that is extremely uncommon in the breed

Eye color: brown

Coat color is ideally jet black. Dead, damaged coat often fades to rusty brown at the tips and low expression of intensity modifiers can make some blacks less "jet black" than others.

Recognized variety by the ARBA

Black kits top and bottom left

Kits have gray skin at birth that turns black with coat growth within a few days.

Some animals may have stray white hairs (undesirable) which often do not come in until mature coat.

Blue ~ aaB-C-ddE-

Blue

Other color names: self blue

Colors that can be confused: blue seal, blue self chin, dark smoke pearl, lilac, lilac seal, lilac self chin, lilac sable, potentially variations of steel although that is extremely uncommon in the breed

Eye color: blue-gray


Dilutes such as blues can express varying degrees of "snowballing" as shown above.

There is variation visible in this variety regarding intensity of surface color, though the darkest color is desired. Regardless of intensity, look for even color throughout the body.

Blue kit on right

Kits have pink to light gray skin at birth that turns blue with coat growth within a few days.

Some animals may have stray white hairs (undesirable) which often do not come in until mature coat.

Snowballing sometimes expresses as scattered white hairs and/or light undercolor and goes away with age.

Chocolate ~ aabbC-D-E-

Chocolate

Other color names: self chocolate, brown

Colors that can be confused: chocolate seal, chocolate self chin, chocolate sable, dark black tort, potentially variations of steel although that is extremely uncommon in the breed

Eye color: brown (may have ruby cast in pupil)

There is variation visible in this variety regarding the intensity of surface color, though the darkest color is desired. Regardless of intensity, look for even color throughout the body. Dead, damaged coat often fades to a rusty brown at the tips.

Recognized variety by the ARBA


Chocolate kit on bottom

Kits have pink to light brown skin at birth that turns dark brown with coat growth within a few days.

Some animals may have stray white hair (undesirable) which often do not come in until mature coat.

Lilac ~ aabbC-ddE-

Lilac

Other color names: self lilac

Colors that can be confused: lilac seal, lilac self chin, lilac sable, blue, blue seal, blue self chin, smoke pearl, potentially variations of steel although that is extremely uncommon in the breed

Eye color: blue-gray (may have ruby cast in pupils)

Lilac is a very subtle variety and can be difficult to positively identify. Look for a "rosy" cast throughout the color. Blues are a richer gray with a blue tone while lilacs are a softer dove gray with a rosy tone and often ruby cast in the eyes.

Look for even color throughout the body. Dead, damaged coat often fades to a rusty brown.

Lilac kit on left

Kits have pink to light gray skin at birth that turns lilac with coat growth within a few days.

Some animals may have stray white hairs (undesirable) which often do not come in until mature coat.

Snowballing sometimes expresses as scattered white hairs and/or light undercolor and goes away with age.

Tort-Black ~ aaB-C-D-ee

Tort-black

Other color names: tortoise, tort, sooty fawn (UK), Thuringer (UK) , madagascar

Colors that can be confused: chocolate tort, high rufus blue tort, orange, tort-otter (fox), lightly marked black Japanese harlequins

Eye color: brown

Color intensity varies!

Coat color can be a wide range of shades even within the same litter. True genetic torts can sometimes have light underside of tails or even white (dark is ideal) and should not be confused for an agouti or tan base.

Recognized variety by the ARBA - all 4 tort varieties show together

Tort-black kits

Kits have pink to rusty skin at birth (occasionally almost black) that turns more distinctly tort with coat growth within a few days to weeks.

Tort-blacks never have jet-black points, instead expressing varying levels of more-diffused pigment which makes them often confused for tort-chocolates.

Tort-Blue ~ aaB-C-ddee

Tort-blue

Other color names: blue tortoise, tort, Beige-Isabella (UK)

Colors that can be confused: tort-lilac, light tort-black, cream/fawn, tort-blue otter (blue fox), lightly marked blue Japanese harlequins

Eye color: blue-gray

Coat color can be a wide range of shades even within the same litter. True genetic torts can sometimes have light underside of tails or even white (dark is ideal) and should not be confused for an agouti or tan base.

Snowballing sometimes expresses as scattered white hairs and/or light undercolor and goes away with age.

Recognized variety by the ARBA - all 4 tort varieties show together

Tort-blue kit on right

Tort-lilac on left, tort-blue on right.

Kits have pink to rusty to blue skin at birth (occasionally almost blue) that turns more distinctly tort with coat growth within a few days to weeks.


Tort-Chocolate ~ aabbC-D-ee

Tort-chocolate

Other color names: chocolate tortoise, tort

Colors that can be confused: tort-blacks frequently confused, orange, tort otters, lightly-marked harlequins

Eye color: brown (may have ruby cast in pupil)

Coat color can be a wide range of shades even within the same litter. True genetic torts can sometimes have light underside of tails or even white (dark is ideal) and should not be confused for an agouti or tan base.

Tort-chocolate do not have points as dark as a self chocolate, instead expressing much more diffused point color that can make them look orange overall.

Recognized variety by the ARBA - all 4 tort varieties show together

L to R: Black, blue, chocolate, and lilac tort

Tort-chocolate kits are pink to light fawn at birth and their color intensifies within a few days. Some have barely visible points until maturity, but others express more distinct points earlier.


Tort-Lilac ~ aabbC-ddee

Tort-lilac

Other color names: lilac tortoise, tort

Colors that can be confused: tort-blue, cream/fawn, blue or lilac tort otters (blue or lilac fox), lightly marked blue or lilac Japanese harlequins

Eye color: blue-gray (may have ruby cast in pupil)

Color is extremely light overall with rosy cast. Points are often almost invisible, especially as juniors.

Snowballing sometimes expresses as scattered white hairs and/or light undercolor and goes away with age.

Recognized variety by the ARBA - all 4 tort varieties show together

Tort-lilac kit on left

Tort-lilac on left, tort-blue on right.

Kits have pink to cream skin at birth that turns more distinctly tort with coat growth within a few days to weeks. Points are often barely visible until mature coat comes in.

Ruby-Eyed White ~ ----cc----

Ruby-Eyed White

Other color names: REW, albino, red-eyed white (UK)

Colors that can be confused: blue-eyed whites with ruby cast, pointed whites (himi) with faint points, potentially light ermines (frosted pearls)

Eye color: pink/ruby

Pink/ruby eyes

REWs completely lack all pigment, including in their eyes. The visible color in their eyes is from veins, making them red/pink and sometimes having a faint bluish tone.

Recognized variety by the ARBA

REW kit on left

Kits are pink to white at birth and remain pure white. Eyelids will appear pink before opening. and will be ruby when opened.

Blue-Eyed White ~ ----------vv

Blue-Eyed White

Other color names: BEW

Colors that can be confused: REW especially with blue-ish veins in the eyes, ermine (frosted pearl), lightly-marked brokens and/or vienna-marked varieties

Blue eye color

The eye color of BEWs is complex because unlike REWs, they have some pigment in their eyes. The visible eye color is best seen in sunlight and can look dull/gray in artificial light. They can also express ruby cast in their pupils if chocolate or shaded genes are present or can show pink veins if they have a low amount of pigment in their irises.

Learn more about BEWs here! Blossom Acres Farm & Rabbitry: Breeding Blue Eyed White Lionheads – The Vienna Gene (blossomacresrabbitry.blogspot.com)

BEW kit

Kits will be pink to white at birth and can be distinguished from REWs at birth by slight dark pigment visible beneath the eyelids (see picture above). Eye color is often very dark when they first open and become brighter blue by a few weeks of age, especially in sunlight.


Vienna-Marked ~ ----------Vv

Tort-black VM

Other color names: VM, vienna missmark, sport

Colors that can be confused: broken pattern, dutch pattern, random white spotting patterns

Varying markings!

Vienna marks tend to be minimal and angular in shape such as a blaze, strip on the shoulder, or mark on the paw. The eyes can also be vienna-marked creating blue color which can cover the entire eye or only part of it in a "chip" or "split" of color. This is often mistakenly called marbling, but true marbling is caused by the chinchilla gene.

Learn more about the Vienna gene here! Blossom Acres Farm & Rabbitry: Breeding Blue Eyed White Lionheads – The Vienna Gene (blossomacresrabbitry.blogspot.com)

Black VM kit

Vienna marks can sometimes be seen in kits as pink-white markings surrounded by normal pigmentation for the variety.

A Vv genotype sometimes expresses with pigment-less markings and sometimes does not express at all which is known as a vienna-carrier.

Broken (group) ~ ----------E(n)e(n)

Broken Tort-black

Other color names: broken, butterfly (UK), booted, charlie (homozygous), false-charlie

Colors that can be confused: vienna-marked, dutch-marked, random white spotting

Broken pattern differs from vienna markings in shape (it is rounder/less angular) and placement. Brokens almost always minimally have white bellies and legs. The ears, around the eyes, and a stripe on the back are almost always colored and additional spots or larger "blankets" of color are frequently present.

Broken Blue Chinchilla kit

Broken markings can often be seen at birth as colored spots surrounded by pink-white.

Siamese Sable ~ aaB-c(chl)-D-E-

Siamese Sable

Other color names: sable, SS, Siamese

Colors that can be confused: black self chins especially when combined with very light modifiers common in the breed, seal, chocolate

Eye color: brown (usually has ruby cast in pupil)

While adult siamese sables look more similar, young siamese sables can look drastically different. This kit is quite dark like a seal, but has a REW parent eliminating that possibility genetically and ruby cast to the eyes, ruling out self chin. With maturity, the color should look warm-toned.

Recognized variety by the ARBA

Siamese Sable kit

Coat color on young siamese sables is notoriously confusing. They often start out looking solid blue and eventually get silver tipping as shown above. This continues to develop to a warmer adult color. Conversely, sometimes they start quite dark like a black.

Sable Point ~ aaB-c(chl)-D-ee

Sable Point

Other color names: SP, black point, seal point (homozygous)

Colors that can be confused: sallander (chin-based and common in the breed), black or chocolate pointed white (himi)

Eye color: brown (usually has ruby cast in pupil)

Coat color can be a wide range of shades even within the same litter. True genetic sable points can sometimes have light underside of tails or even white (dark is ideal) and should not be confused for an agouti or tan base.

The color tends to be temperature-sensitive and can also get very uneven during molt. Damaged coat can show rusty color.

Sable Point kits

Kits have pink to white skin at birth (occasionally shading is visible) that turns more distinct with coat growth within a few days to weeks.


Seal ~ aaB-c(chl)c(chl)D-E-

Seal

Come in black, blue, chocolate, and lilac forms, though only black seals are showable

Other color names: siamese sable dark (UK)

Colors that can be confused: black, black self chin, dark siamese sable

Eye color: brown (may have ruby cast in pupil)

Notoriously difficult to confirm color

Key features to look for are slightly lighter belly color, slightly darker ear tips, ruby cast to the eyes, and warmer color tone.

Kits are born looking like blacks and may show slight silvering of surface color.

Recognized variety by the ARBA


Smoke Pearl ~ aaB-c(chl)-ddE-

Smoke Pearl

Picture credit Ponder Lionheads & Netherland Dwarfs (thank you!)

Other color names: smoked pearl, blue sable

Colors that can be confused: blue self chins especially when combined with very light modifiers common in the breed, blue, blue seal, lilac, lilac sable, lilac seal, smoke pearl point

Eye color: blue-gray (usually has ruby cast in pupil)

Picture credit Ponder Lionheads & Netherland Dwarfs (thank you!)

Look for smokey appearance that is lighter than a blue and darker at the points. The shaded gene will lend a warmth to the color that can be confusing compared to lilac, especially in combination with ruby cast in the eyes from the shaded gene. Coat color, especially at the points, will retain a distinctly blue tone. If there is light/white in the coat, compare to smoke pearl point which is often confused.

Smoke Pearls often start out looking solid blue and eventually get silver tipping and darker points. This continues to develop to a warmer adult color.

Smoke Pearl Point ~ aaB-c(chl)-ddee

Smoke Pearl Point

Other color names: blue point, blue pearl

Colors that can be confused: blue sallander, lilac point, lilac sallander, light smoke pearl

Eye color: blue-gray (usually has ruby cast in pupil)

Smoke Pearl Point can be especially difficult to distinguish from lilac point since ruby cast can be already present from the shaded gene. Lilac points will have very excessive ruby cast and much lighter, rosier points.

Color is temperature-sensitive as well as shows a lot of variation depending on gene modifiers.

Smoke Pearl Point kit on left

Smoke pearl point on left, chocolate point on right. Smoke Pearl Points are born pink/white and will develop visible points in a few days to a few weeks.

Chocolate Sable ~ aabbc(chl)-D-E-

Chocolate Sable doe

Other color names: chocolate siamese sable, chocolate shaded

Colors that can be confused: chocolates frequently confused, chocolate seal, chocolate self-chin

Eye color: brown (often light) with heavy ruby cast in pupil

Note heavy ruby cast in eyes

While some chocolate sables look distinctively lighter and show shading, others can only be distinguished by their excessive ruby cast.

Learn more about chocolate sables here! Blossom Acres Farm & Rabbitry: Chocolate Sables - Chocolate Shaded Genetics (blossomacresrabbitry.blogspot.com)

Chocolate Sable kits center and right

Chocolate sable kits are born looking like chocolates, but may show slightly lighter and brassy color by a few days of age.

Chocolate Point ~ aabbc(chl)-D-ee

Chocolate Point

Other color names: chocolate sable point

Colors that can be confused: chocolate sallander, sable point, lilac point

Eye color: brown (often light) with heavy ruby cast in pupil

Like other chocolate-based non-extension varieties, the chocolate color is usually quite muted. Color is temperature-sensitive as well as shows a lot of variation depending on gene modifiers.

Learn more about chocolate points here! Blossom Acres Farm & Rabbitry: Chocolate Sables - Chocolate Shaded Genetics (blossomacresrabbitry.blogspot.com)

Chocolate Point kit on right

Smoke Pearl Point on left, chocolate point on right. Chocolate points are born pink/white and will develop visible points in a few days to a few weeks.

Chestnut ~ A-B-C-D-E-

Chestnut

Other color names: agouti, chestnut agouti, black agouti, wild-type

Colors that can be confused: gold-tipped steel, smutty orange, chinchilla if rufus is low

Eye color: brown

Ring color

While distinctive ring color is ideal, not all Lionheads express it well.

Unique to the Lionhead breed, the mane gene interacts with the Agouti gene producing very dark pigment in the wooled areas.

Chestnut kits

Kits are born looking like blacks except lack of pigment can be seen on the inside of the ears (as shown above) and also on the belly. This is almost impossible to distinguish from black otter or chinchilla until enough coat comes in to see banding on the back/body. Ocassionally gene modifiers are light enough to show more distinct color earlier.

Opal ~ A-B-C-ddE-

Opal

Picture credit Sunny Slope Rabbitry (thank you!)

Other color names: blue agouti

Colors that can be confused: lynx, blue otter, blue chinchilla

Eye color: blue-gray

Picture credit Sunny Slope Rabbitry (thank you!)

While distinctive ring color is ideal, not all Lionheads express it well.

Unique to the Lionhead breed, the mane gene interacts with the Agouti gene producing very dark pigment in the wooled areas.

Opal kit

Picture credit Sunny Slope Rabbitry (thank you!)

Kits are born looking like blues except for lack of pigment can be seen on the inside of the ears and also on the belly. This is almost impossible to distinguish from blue otter or blue chinchilla until enough coat comes in to see fawn banding on the back/body. Occasionally gene modifiers are light enough to show more distinct color earlier.

Chocolate Agouti ~ A-bbC-D-E-

Chocolate Agouti

Note: above picture is of Netherland Dwarf. Lionheads differ in having dark pigmentation in wool.

Other color names: cinnamon, amber, chocolate chestnut, brown agouti

Colors that can be confused: light chestnut, smutty orange

Eye color: brown (may have ruby cast in pupil)

Note: above picture is of Netherland Dwarf. Lionheads differ in having dark pigmentation in wool.

While distinctive ring color is ideal, not all Lionheads express it well.

Unique to the Lionhead breed, the mane gene interacts with the Agouti gene producing very dark pigment in the wooled areas.

To distinguish from chestnut, look for brown tips to the fur (instead of black), especially at the tips of the ears, and ruby cast to the eyes.

Chocolate Agouti kits left and right

Note: above picture is of Netherland Dwarf. Lionheads differ in having dark pigmentation in wool.

Kits are born pink to fawn or as dark as chocolates and color becomes more distinct within a few days to weeks of age. Agouti markings can be seen as lack of pigment inside the ears and on the belly.

Lynx ~ A-bbC-dd-E-

Lynx

Other color names: lilac agouti, Lynx-Wheaten (UK)

Colors that can be confused: opal, smutty cream, blue otter

Eye color: blue-gray (may have ruby cast in pupil)

While distinctive ring color is ideal, not all Lionheads express it well.

Unique to the Lionhead breed, the mane gene interacts with the Agouti gene producing very dark pigment in the wooled areas.

To distinguish from opal, look for muted rosy tips to the fur (instead of richer blue), especially at the tips of the ears, and ruby cast to the eyes.

Lynx kit on left

Kits are born pink to grayish fawn and color continues to develop with a pink/gray/fawn tone. Agouti marks are visible as lack of pigment in the inside of the ears and belly.

Orange ~ A-B-C-D-ee / A-bbC-D-ee

Orange

Other color names: fawn (low rufus), rufus orange

Colors that can be confused: tort otter frequently confused, tort-chocolate, light chocolate agouti, light chestnut

Eye color: brown (may have ruby cast in pupil IF chocolate-based)

Smut

Oranges may be black or chocolate-based. This can usually be visible in the eumelanin pigment that is expressed as dark ticking in the coat (also called "smut"). Animals can be bred to have less smut and a chocolate-base can also be selected because it hides smut.

Note: Above picture is of Netherland Dwarf.

Kits are born pink to light fawn and sometimes show dark color (smut) throughout the body that usually brightens with age.

The kit above is chocolate-based while the two previous oranges are black-based. Note how smut looks invisible on a chocolate base. Smut can be so heavy that it is sometimes confused for chestnut or chocolate agouti

Red ~ A-B-C-D-eeww / A-bbC-D-eeww

Red

Red is considered to genetically the same as orange except with wideband genes and higher rufus modifiers

Colors that can be confused: tort-chocolate frequently confused, high rufus orange

Eye color: brown (may have ruby cast in pupil IF chocolate-based)

Reds may be black or chocolate-based. This can usually be visible in the eumelanin pigment that is expressed as dark ticking in the coat (also called "smut"). Animals can be bred to have less smut and a chocolate-base can also be selected for because it hides smut.

Expression of rufus modifers often intensifies with age.

Determining if the wideband gene is present is best done by looking at belly color. Wideband reds should have dark cream to red belly color depending on rufus modifiers while oranges have white belly color.

Kits are born pink to fawn-toned and intensify to more obvious red color within a few days. Reds sometimes show dark color (smut) throughout the body that usually brightens with age.


Cream ~ A-B-C-ddee / A-bbC-ddee

Cream

Other color names: fawn is sometimes used to describe a dilute orange/red, but is other times used to describe a low rufus red/orange. Cream is more universally understood to describe the dilute form.

Colors that can be confused: tort otter frequently confused, tort-chocolate, light chocolate agouti

Eye color: blue-gray (may have ruby cast in pupil IF chocolate-based)

Blue or lilac cream?

Like reds and oranges, creams can be black or brown based. The first cream rabbit pictured is black-based and the smut shows blue color tips throughout the body. The next two pictures of cream kits are chocolate-based, which look much more "clean".

Cream kit on right

Kits are born pink/slightly fawn and develop to a more milky-fawn depending on amount of smut and black or chocolate base.

Chinchilla ~ A-B-c(chd)-D-E-

Black Chinchilla

Picture credit Sunny Slope Rabbitry (thank you!)

Other color names: chin, black chinchilla, chinchilla agouti

Colors that can be confused: sable chinchilla, dark frosted pearl

Eye color: brown, may have thin streaks of gray marbling which, if heavy enough, can make the eyes look blue-gray

Picture credit Sunny Slope Rabbitry (thank you!)

Chinchilla gene modifiers and/or interaction with the mane gene often causes slight brassy color to chinchillas which can make them more difficult to distinguish from sable chinchillas. Very cool-toned black and white (salt and pepper) color is ideal. Eye marbling also confirms true chinchilla genetics.

While distinctive ring color is ideal, not all Lionheads express it well.

Unique to the Lionhead breed, the mane gene interacts with the Agouti gene producing very dark pigment in the wooled areas.

Chinchilla kit

Picture credit Sunny Slope Rabbitry (thank you!)

Kits are born looking like blacks except for lack of pigment can be seen on the inside of the ears and also on the belly. This is almost impossible to distinguish from black otter or chestnut until enough coat comes in to see white banding on the back/body. Occasionally gene modifiers are light enough to show more distinct colors earlier.

Squirrel ~ A-B-c(chd)-ddE-

Squirrel

Picture credit Sunny Slope Rabbitry (thank you!)

Other color names: blue chinchilla, blue chin

Colors that can be confused: opal, blue silver marten, smoke pearl marten, lilac chinchilla, smoke pearl agouti

Eye color: blue-gray, may have thin streaks of brown marbling which, if heavy enough, can make the eyes look brown


Picture credit Sunny Slope Rabbitry (thank you!)

While distinctive ring color is ideal, not all Lionheads express it well.

Unique to the Lionhead breed, the mane gene interacts with the Agouti gene producing very dark pigment in the wooled areas.



Picture credit Sunny Slope Rabbitry (thank you!)

Squirrel kit on top, chinchilla on bottom.

Kits are born looking like blues except for lack of pigment can be seen on the inside of the ears and also on the belly. This is almost impossible to distinguish from blue otter or opal until enough coat comes in to see white banding on the back/body. Occasionally gene modifiers are light enough to show more distinct colors earlier.

Sable Chinchilla ~ A-B-c(chl)-D-E-

Sable Chinchilla

Picture credit Sunny Slope Rabbitry (thank you!)

Other color names: sable chin, shagouti, shaded chinchilla, sable agouti, siamese sable agouti, black sable agouti

Colors that can be confused: chocolate chinchilla, black chinchilla, dark frosted pearl

Eye color: brown (usually has ruby cast to the pupil)

Picture credit Sunny Slope Rabbitry (thank you!)

To distinguish sable chinchilla from chinchilla, look for ruby cast in the eyes which confirms a sable base (if the animal is not also chocolate-based). Color is also lighter, tends to be slightly darker at the points, and is a warmer, brassy tone.

While distinctive ring color is ideal, not all Lionheads express it well.

Unique to the Lionhead breed, the mane gene interacts with the Agouti gene producing very dark pigment in the wooled areas.

Sable Chinchilla kit

Picture credit Sunny Slope Rabbitry (thank you!)

Kit color varies (similarly to siamese sables), but they are usually born looking like siamese sables except lack of pigment can be seen on the inside of the ears (as shown above) and also on the belly. Distinct color comes in by a few weeks of age and a warm, brassy tone can be seen throughout the body.

Frosted Pearl ~ A---c(chd)--ee/A---c(chl)--ee

Frosted Pearl

Picture credit Mountain Ledge Lionheads (thank you!)

Other color names: frosty, shagouti, sable point agouti, ermine

Colors that can be confused: light chinchilla, light sable chinchilla, sable point marten, smoke pearl point, BEW when ticking is extremely faint

Come in black, blue, chocolate, or lilac forms. May be chinchilla or shaded-based.

Eye color: brown or blue gray, may have thin streaks of gray marbling or ruby cast depending on base

Picture credit Mountain Ledge Lionheads (thank you!)

Coat color varies from almost pure white, to distinct, dark tipping throughout the coat. Dilute or chocolate forms will be much lighter than black. Look for colored tipping in a mostly white coat in combination with distinctive agouti markings such as white ear lacing, eye circles, and white under the nose.

Picture credit Mountain Ledge Lionheads (thank you!)

Kits are often born pink/white and take time to show ticking. Look at the top of the tail and tips of the ears especially for ticking.

Self-Chin (Group) ~ aa--c(chd)---E-

Black Self Chin

Note: Above picture is of Angora. Lionheads differ in having more intense color in normal furred areas.

Other color names: self chinchilla

Come in black, blue, chocolate, and lilac forms

Colors that can be confused: any of the respective self+full color varieties are easily confused, seal, dark siamese sable

Eye color: same as respective self+full color varieties OR may have varying degrees of marbling

Blue-gray marbled eyes are a giveaway, but not all have them!

Kits are born indistinguishable from their respective self+full color varieties.

Coat pigmentation is often slightly lighter, though this is not very distinguishable in blue, chocolate, or lilac self chins. Presence of eye marbling is the most ideal way to confirm color, though many self chins do not have marbled eyes. Test breeding and analysis of pedigree genetics are often needed.

In Lionheads especially, very light chin modifiers can make self chins look as light as siamese sables. Eye marbling is a definitive way to confirm a chin base, though many chins do not have marbling.

Pointed White (Group) ~ aa--c(h)---E- (ideally)

Pointed White

Picture credit Ponder Lionheads & Netherland Dwarfs (thank you!)

Other color names: Himalayan, himi, PW, Californian

Colors that can be confused: REW especially when young or combined with very light points, sable point and other similar varieties but easily distinguished by eye color

Come in black, blue, chocolate, or lilac forms.

Eye color: pink/ruby. Just like REWs, may have slight bluish tone from veins because of total lack of pigment in the eyes.

Point color highly affected by other genes

Picture credit Ponder Lionheads & Netherland Dwarfs (thank you!)

While the above genotype is ideal, many other genes can be present in this variety that lighten the points. Agouti, tan-pattern, Japanese, non-extension, and broken are more common examples that will all lighten the color. Carrying REW will also lighten the color as will warm temperatures as the pigment expression is temperature-sensitive.

Picture credit Ponder Lionheads & Netherland Dwarfs (thank you!)


Kits are usually born pink/white with point color eventually coming in within a week to several weeks of age. Sometimes kits will be born with dark ticking throughout the body that goes away with age. Cold temperatures encourage darker and faster development of point color. If body has dark color frosted all over, pink/ruby eyes will easily confirm pointed white color.

Otter (Group)~ a(t)---C---E-

Blue Otter

Come in black, blue, chocolate, and lilac otter.

Colors that can be confused: respective agouti varieties especially if dark and lacking ring definition, respective self varieties especially if lacking defined tan-pattern (otter) markings.

Eye color: same as respective self varieties

Black Otter

Picture credit Sunny Slope Rabbitry (thank you!)

Distinguish otters from martens by looking for pheomelanin (orange) pigment within the otter markings.

Some otters lack perfect tan-pattern markings, especially eye circles.

Black Otter top, Blue Otter bottom

Otter kits are born looking very similar to agoutis with solid-looking bodies and pink inside the ears and on the belly. Confirmation of otter color can take a few days to a few weeks for ticking/ring color to show up on the back/body.

Fox (Group) ~ a(t)---C---ee

Black Tort Otter (Fox)

Other color names: tort otter, torted otter

Colors that can be confused: orange, self tort

Eye color: same as respective self varieties

Come in black, blue, chocolate, and lilac

Tort otters are often called "Fox". These are frequently confused with smutty oranges. Look for shading especially on the muzzle and ears that you would expect to see on a tort. Oranges, even when smutty, will have that shading banded by agouti patterning and will therefore be lighter and more ticked in appearance.

Marten (Group) ~ a(t)---c(chd)-----/a(t)---c(chl)-----

Black Silver Marten

Picture credit Sunny Slope Rabbitry (thank you!)

Come in black, blue, chocolate, and lilac silver marten when combined with the chin gene, or sable, smoke pearl, chocolate sable, and lilac sable marten when combined with the shaded gene. Also come in respective non-extension forms such as sable point marten.

Colors that can be confused: respective otter varieties, respective self varieties, respective agouti varieties

Eye color: brown if black or chocolate-based, blue-gray if blue or lilac-based, pupils may have ruby cast if shaded or chocolate-based (heavy ruby cast if both), eyes may have thin streaks of marbling if chin-based.

Sable Marten

Picture credit Sunny Slope Rabbitry (thank you!)

Distinguish martens from otters by looking for lack of fawn/orange pigment in tan-pattern markings.


Silver Marten is known as Fox in the UK which is not the same as Fox in the US (above)


Chocolate Silver Marten

Picture credit Sunny Slope Rabbitry (thank you!)

Kits are born looking like respective self varieties except for lack of pigment can be seen in ears and bellies.


Harlequin (Group) ~ --------e(j)-

Blue Japanese Harlequin

Full color variations (fawn/orange in color) referred to as "Japanese" and shaded or chin variations (white in color) as "magpie" with black, blue, chocolate, and lilac varieties within each group.

Eye color: same as respective self varieties for Japanese. Chin-based magpies may have marbling and sable-based magpies may have ruby cast to the pupil.

L to R: Japanese, Magpie, Japanese

Photo credit to Hidden Valley Rabbitry (thank you!)

Harlequin markings can often be seen at a young age, especially in Japanese varieties. Look for distinctly-shaped bars or bands of darker color as characteristic of the gene.

Many Lionheads carry gene modifiers for light harlequin markings, so look closely for faint markings.

Steel (Group) ~ A-------E(s)-

Black Gold-Tipped Steel

Photo credit to Rebecca Mellor (thank you!)

Full color variations referred to as "gold-tipped" and shaded or chin variations as "silver-tipped". Come in black, blue, chocolate, and lilac within each group

Colors often confused: dark chestnut, black especially if homozygous or other genes are interacting

Eye color: same as respective self varieties. In silver-tipped steels, chin-based animals MAY have marbling and sable-based animals may have ruby cast

Photo credit to Rebecca Mellor (thank you!)

Steels with an agouti base lack the traditional agouti markings of light belly, ear lacing, eye circles, etc. This is an excellent way to distinguish from dark chestnut.


Note: Above picture is of French Angora. Lionheads differ in having diffused color in mane.

Steel kits are born looking like selfs and the steel tipping comes in by a few weeks of age.

Chocolate Chinchilla ~ A-bbc(chd)-D-E-

Lilac Chinchilla ~ A-bbc(chd)-ddE-

Lilac Point ~ aabbc(chl)-ddee

Sallander (Group) - aa--c(chd)---ee