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red fox and arctic fox color forms, morphs and genetics

Breeding, caging, housing, bottle feeding, domestication, colors, in cage enrichment, etc.

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naja-naja
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red fox and arctic fox color forms, morphs and genetics

Postby naja-naja » Sat May 16, 2015 10:34 am

I have some questions about fox morphs (I don't know what the term is for mammals or foxes, but in the reptile trade that is how we refer to non-wildtype color forms that are passed down genetically, such as albino, snow, striped, hypomelanistic, piebald, calico etc)

To start with, red foxes. I understand that 3 types of red fox occur in the wild, red, silver and cross. Is a cross fox, just a cross between a red and silver? I'm assuming red is dominant. What way is silver inherited? simple recessive, double recessive, dominant, co-dominant to other color forms, incomplete dominant? same question with cross foxes. if there are multiple versions of red, silver and cross how do they come about? also can anyone provide a list of the color morphs bred in captivity and state their mode of inheritance, and state whether they are a single gene trait or a combination of other traits. I've seen labels such as platinum, white mark, burgundy, blue, sapphire, calico, amber, pearl, marble etc and they all look amazing but I would like to have them explained to me properly. I do already understand mendelian genetics and terms like homozygous, heterozygous, dominant, co-dominant, incomplete dominant, simple recessive, double recessive etc but just need to match up which fox color is inherited by which method and which parent genes you would need to make which offspring combinations!


as far as arctic foxes go, i'd like the same thing, but i've only seen 3 morphs of this, the standard wild type aka polar (white in winter, grey in summer), white/snow/shadow (white year round) and blue (grey year round) if there are any other morphs of arctic fox i'd like to know and in what way are they inherited also.

and if anyone has any links to websites where it is explained comprehensively i would be very much appreciative, even if it's a furrier site.

many thanks, teddy.
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Ash
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Re: red fox and arctic fox color forms, morphs and genetics

Postby Ash » Sat May 16, 2015 12:26 pm

I can answer your questions a lot more in depth a little later, but fox genetics (at least for the three wildtype colors) are a lot more complicated. There is also another color, but unless you were a fur farmer you wouldn't really care. That color is "gold/smokey red" and is pretty much a red fox that is a bit darker with more black. There is also a wide variety of silver colors too as well as crosses. But in short, there are the main three: red, cross, silver.

It's the "morphs" that are much easier to understand. As simple as ball python genetics, basically, lol. You've got simple recessive, dominant, incomplete dominant, lethal combos, etc. There are a few colors that are trickier to understand--like the champagne gene; we still aren't sure exactly how that one works; however, we do know if two champagnes are bred together you will still get champagnes in the litter; but according to Dave there don't seem to be any "het champagnes" ever. So we don't really understand that one.
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Re: red fox and arctic fox color forms, morphs and genetics

Postby naja-naja » Sat May 16, 2015 12:53 pm

would champagne then be comparable to spider or pinstripe ball pythons?
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Re: red fox and arctic fox color forms, morphs and genetics

Postby naja-naja » Sat May 16, 2015 1:16 pm

i've been looking up this website http://usfoxshipperscouncil.org/201204m ... lor-phases
and i think i have an understanding of red, cross and silver foxes.
AABB is red, aabb is double silver, breeding them them together will get AaBb (called silver cross according to the site) breeding 2 silver crosses will get the whole range of colors AABB, AaBB, AABb, AaBb, aaBB, AAbb, aaBb, Aabb, aabb.
platinum is the heterozygous form of an incomplete dominant gene where the homozygous form is not compatible with life (so-called lethal gene) white face is also a heterozygous form of an inc-dom lethal gene, and platinum and white face are also co-dominant to each other and lethal.
arctic marble is an incomplete dominant gene, het form is called arctic marble, homozygous form is called arctic marble white. arctic marble is also co-dominant to platinum and this combination is non lethal. it stands to reason that it would also be co-dominant to white face but the site doesn't say whether this would be a lethal form or not.

that's how far my research has gotten me today, i feel like i've made progress with my understanding of the subject so far.
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Postby naja-naja » Sat May 16, 2015 1:19 pm

one more Q, is it possible to visually distinguish alaskan and standard silvers from one another? thanks.
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Re: red fox and arctic fox color forms, morphs and genetics

Postby naja-naja » Sat May 16, 2015 3:13 pm

quick note, i'd better explain i figured out there are 2 types of silver fox, alaskan and standard, AA denotes not-alaskan, Aa denotes het alaskan, aa denotes homozygous alaskan, BB denotes non standard, Bb denotes het standard, bb denotes standard silver, so AABB is a completley red fox, aaBB is an alaskan silver fox, AAbb is a standard silver fox, and aabb is a double silver fox.
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Re: red fox and arctic fox color forms, morphs and genetics

Postby naja-naja » Sat May 16, 2015 9:13 pm

ok a bit further in... burgundy is a simple recessive gene, so is pearl, I think
amber is a pearl burgundy (double recessive)
glacier blue is platinum pearl
stop me if i'm wrong lol
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Re: red fox and arctic fox color forms, morphs and genetics

Postby naja-naja » Sat May 16, 2015 9:26 pm

and finally there is a gene called fire or fire factor, I've no idea how this is inherited.
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Re: red fox and arctic fox color forms, morphs and genetics

Postby Alynn » Mon May 18, 2015 11:03 pm

A cross is red and silver combined, yes, but if you bred a true red fox (AA BB) with a standard silver fox (AA bb), you'd get a "standard cross fox" (AA Bb) which is the gold/smoky fox. Generally it is not called a cross fox though, because it resembles a red fox and is difficult to tell apart from one.

Arctic foxes I haven't delved into as much, but there are pretty much only a few colors in the trade. There's polar arctics, blue arctics, shadow and most recently, blue star. Shadow and blue star are dominant I believe, and blue is dominant over polar. But don't quote me, I'd have to reread.

There are other arctic fox morphs, but those four I mentioned are pretty much the only colors you're going to see in the pet trade and anything else is faily uncommon in the fur trade, too.

Your assessement of marble, platinum and white face are correct. Marble can safely be bred to any other white series coloration (platinum, whiteface, georgian), but all of the other white series colorations are lethal in homozygous form with one another.

Alaskan silvers and standard silvers were originally different in appearance - alaskans tend to have more brown in their fur and have tints of this. But selective breeding/quantative inheritance means that most silvers you see today are visually indistinguishable from one another.

Burgundy and pearl are simple recessive yes as far as I understand, amber is pearl + burgundy, glacier blue is platinum pearl.

fire factor is still a bit of a mystery but it's incompletely dominant by our best understanding. Homozygous fire gene results in snow glows, where all the red areas of the body are completely washed out and almost white. Snow glows refer to both homozygous fire factor gold foxes (see attachment) or homozygous fire factor cross foxes.
Heterozygous fire gene is what causes golden sunrises (fire gold foxes) wildfire (fire red foxes), fire and ice (fire red fox + pearl), moon glow (pearl cross with fire factor).

The fire gene only effects the red coloration on the fox (pheomelanin) diluting it. It has no effect on black/silver. Colicott brown has the fire gene, so does every color derived from it (fawn glow wich is colicott + pearl). Pink foxes also have the fire gene.

Still trying to work out how exactly the fire gene works. If you could figure it out that'd be great, lol.

If you have any questions you can ask me, I've been doing research on colors for a long time and I have a very indepth book on fox genetics called Beautiful Fur Animals and their coat color genetics.
Attachments
11188233_891180774276628_5650848225888815034_n.jpg
snow glow
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Re: red fox and arctic fox color forms, morphs and genetics

Postby naja-naja » Tue May 19, 2015 10:55 am

thanks very much that's a big help. what else makes a colicott brown apart from the fire gene? how is this color form created? from the scant bit of information i've read on that gene it seems like it could be a burgundy fire? fire seems like it is an anerythristic or hypoerythristic type gene so yes?
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Re: red fox and arctic fox color forms, morphs and genetics

Postby Ash » Tue May 19, 2015 2:05 pm

naja-naja wrote:thanks very much that's a big help. what else makes a colicott brown apart from the fire gene? how is this color form created? from the scant bit of information i've read on that gene it seems like it could be a burgundy fire? fire seems like it is an anerythristic or hypoerythristic type gene so yes?


We actually currently do not know how the fire factor gene relates to colicott. That is still a mystery, and hopefully the farms working with the color will figure it out. Most of the mutations just popped up unexpectedly in captivity and then was reproduced and determined whether it was recessive, incomplete dominant, or dominant.

The fire factor is incomplete dominant because there is a "super form."
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