Feature Archive 1  - 1st quarter 2000   
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TIGER MICE
(Photo Details Pic A1.0):
FrontLeft "Carawatha Shalwar"- Dove tiger(Poor central demarcation)
FrontLeft "Carawatha Burma"-Standard black tiger(Poor Facial markings)
Middle "Carawatha Samurai"- Standard black tiger(too heavily barred)
2ndBack "Carawatha Saffron" - Champagne tiger(Too few body stripes)
Back "Carawatha Shalimar" - Standard black tiger(Good facial and central demarcation lines)
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One of my favourite varieties of fancy mouse are the tiger varieties.  In fact some of my first mice back in 1994 were tigers.   Standard tiger mice have numerous lines, bars and areas of colour over a fawn coloured background.  While the most common or 'standard' tiger colour is black markings on the fawn (pic A1.1), they also come with markings in just about all the colours that self variety mice do, only on a fawn background.
    Tiger mice have gone through phases of popularity in the fancy.  They are not an easy type to breed to the standard with markings being very variable in each litter.   The variable nature of the gene causing our tiger mice is such that it can cause a mouse to be marked with such heavy barring as to border on shading, making the mouse look like a sable variety, right through to a clear yellow coloured mouse with no barring whatsoever looking as a self would.  

In fact many of the self gold mice we see at shows are in fact homozygous tiger mice (Avy Avy in genotype)
See pic A1.2

  The gene is called 'dominant Viable yellow' and written A(vy).  This is the same gene that in the US is responsible for their mice they call Brindles.    

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Although here in Australia it is exclusively the Avy gene that causes our mice with brindled patterns,  overseas in the UK there is another gene causing brindled mice.  
A sex-linked semidominant gene called brindled, written Mo(br).  The mice produced by this gene were the original mice to be called Brindles.   This mottling gene has associated lethalities that need to be taken into consideration, with homozygous males being those affected.  

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I have personally bred Tiger patterned mice in many of the colours available.  Black, Chocolate, Blue, Dove and Champagne.   As well as starting up a line of Calico mice (albeit by accident) and a bit later on, the Snowtiger and Reverse Tiger varieties.  There is more about these two types further on.     Recently also, we have had some silver tiger mice in litters, a very striking looking mouse indeed.
   In the Reverse tiger varieties I have bred Black, Chocolate and Dove.  
   In the Snowtigers I have bred Stone, Chocolate and Beige  and a much darker colour that at the time I thought may have been Lilac, but I now think it was more likely the newer ce colour recently named Otter or Mocha.

 Following is a list of all of my Tiger mice right from the beginning.
My 1st Tiger mouse, given to me by a friend. "Tigah" Black male (10/95)
2nd Tiger mouse, got from same friend. "Tigress" Black female (09/95)
F1 Bred from above pair. "Carawatha Tigerlilly" Black female (01/96)
F2 Bred from first pair. "Carawatha Euphrates"Longhair Black male(05/96)

Bred from "C.Euphrates" & Choc self "Kinder"  (08/05/97) . Kept two.  A heavily barred Black Female "Carawatha Shirin" &"Carawatha Ramsees" the first Calico that I kept.  (Had bred two other calico's in other matings prior to this)

Bred from "C.Shirin" & mismarked Sable male."C.Chamois" (01/06/98).Stripey faced Black female "Carawatha Benghal"

Bred from "C.Chamois" & marked stone female"C.Ariel"(06.06.98)My first Snowtiger, a female with Stone coloured markings. "Carawatha Isis"

Bred "C.Benghal" & marked fawn male. "C.Sunny".(25.10.98) My first Blue Tiger, a male "Carawatha Siberia"

Bred "C.Ramsees" & self stone "C.Libby"(26.10.98). Kept a pair of Black tigers "Carawatha Samutra"(Pic A1.3)-female  & "Carawatha Indy" - male.

Bred "C.Isis" to "C.Sunny" (08.11.98) Got my second blue tiger. "Carawatha Frosty"

Purchased an outcross Black Tiger male "Lacock Nile"(heavily barred) & bred him to "C.Samutra".(15.08.99) kept a well marked black tiger female "Carawatha Shalimar"(Pic A1.0 - top)

Bred "Lacock Nile" to my albino female "C.Nivea" (07.09.99) Kept a pair from this litter, both black tigers. "Carawatha Burma" - female & "Carawatha Samurai"-male.(picsA1.0 & A1.1)

Bred "L.Nile" to "C.Samutra"(18.10.99) My first Dove Tiger, a male "Carawatha Shalwar"(pic A1.4 & A1.0)

Bred "C.Burma" to my albino male "C.Hahn"(04.11.99) kept a Longhaired Chocolate tiger female "Carawatha Yvenna"

Purchased an outcross snowtiger female (chocolate) "Lacock Callestra" (pic A1.5 also A1.3)  & bred her to my albino boy "C.Hahn" (29.11.99) Kept a pair of chocolate snowtigers.  The male "Carawatha Scarab" & the female"Carawatha Riley Stoic"[now owned by Harrington's Mousery] (Photo of both & mother at the bottom of this list Pic A1.9)

Bred "C.Burma" to "C.Scarab"(13.02.00) and kept a pair of black tigers. "Carawatha India" & "Carawatha T'eilk"

Purchased a black reverse tiger in a petstore "Gaurana"(Pic A1.6) and bred her with "C.Scarab"(15.02.00) Kept 3 from this litter.  
An undermarked Black tiger female "Carawatha Egypt",
A chocolate tiger female "Carawatha Clara"
& a mismarked Calico male "Carawatha Santiago"
(Scarab escaped and we found him in with "Gaurana" and their babies the result being that on 15.03.00 she had a second litter.)
"Gaurana" & "C.Scarab" (15.03.00) My first born reverse tiger.  A male Dove reverse tiger."Carawatha Anubis Rostra"(PicA1.7)

Bred "C.Clara"&"C.Santiago" (27.05.00) Kept a chocolate snowtiger male. "Carawatha Moses"

Bred "C.Yvenna" to "C.Scarab" (07.06.00) Kept 2 females. A heavily barred Chocolate Tiger. "Carawatha Telemn" (PicA1.8) & a Longhaired Champagne tiger with sparse markings "Carawatha Saffron"(PicA1.0)

Bred "Gaurana" & "C.Scarab" (13.06.00) kept a pair of black reverse tigers.  "Carawatha Ting" - female & "Carawatha Musashi" - male
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 (Pic A1.9)
Left-Carawatha Scarab / Middle-"Lacock Callestra" / Right-"Carawatha Riley Stoic"
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 SNOW TIGERS

While I personally bred my first snowtiger in 1998, it's really only been since the year 2000, that they've been showing up more regularly, in shows & petstores.  
   The name SNOW TIGER was chosen because of the much paler cream coloured background that occurs in this variety.  So far I have bred Snowtiger mice with chocolate, stone & beige markings.  There was also one of this variety born that looked as if the markings were of a lilac colour.  I now think that this was probably the more recently discovered colour of Otter or also called Mocha.  

   Snowtiger mice are the result of the regular tiger gene A(vy) being affected by the gene c (e).  This gene, while having been around for some time within the fancy, is only recently becoming more prevalent.  
  This c (e) gene is called 'extreme dilution'.  It causes the melanin pigment granules to be smaller and fewer in number.  Thus a homozygous non-agouti mouse of this type (aa cece) has fur of a very light gray, and eyes are black.  This type are recognised by ANRA, in their official breed standards as Stone.   

  When the ce gene is in effect, it produces one very distinctive trait.  Bold prominent black eyes.   A good test mating to see if this gene is indeed in your lines, is to breed it into a line of himalayan or siamese mice.  The result will be black eyed siamese & himalayans, which ordinarily does not occur.    At this time (September 2000)there have been no Snowtigers bred with pink/red eyes, only black, which prompts the question as to whether it's even possible.

  There are a number of alleles at the 'c' locus in our fancy mice.  Albino's (c), mice effected by the himalayan pattern (ch),  mice affected by the chinchilla gene (cch).   
Alleles at this locus (the albino locus) often have intermediate results when heterozygous to another c allele, thus giving rise to a lot of variation in phenotypic appearance of some mice.

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REVERSE TIGERS

Reverse Tiger mice are one of the newest type of tiger-mouse to emerge in the fancy here in Australia, at this time - having been discovered only within the last 12 months.  
  They resemble the normal tiger pattern but in reverse.  Thus the stripes/markings on the mouse are always fawn and the background colour is the changeable part.    Little is known about how or what causes this change around, however a similar phenomenon has been seen in Abyssinian & Somali cats, where the ticking pattern is reversed.   Straight colour inheritance on reverse tigers appears so far, to work in the usual ways.
  There is no doubt that Reverse Tigers, especially in the paler colours, are probably one of most unusual and striking varieties to look at.   I look forward to introducing the many other colours into this variety.

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   There are a couple of other phenomenon I'd like to mention here, that occurs with great frequency.  That is the high incidence of offspring from the Snowtiger matings that could only best be described in appearance, as some type of Marten Sable mouse.  
  There is great variation in the development of colour of these types, some start off a pale gold colour, only to have the yellow tone disappear a few months later, with the resulting mouse looking like a very pale almost diluted marten sable.  
  Others start off white and gain pigmentation a few months later.  To end up with a nicely shaded saddle area, often darker than this  type that start off gold.  

  There is also the totally confusing  occurrence of mice that look for all they're worth to be Gold Foxes.  These mice are a bright vibrant yellow/gold colour with snowy white underbellies and very well defined demarcation lines.
  However the very nature of the genes causing Fox mice dictate this to be impossible.  The cch gene, which is responsible for our Fox mice, otherwise referred to as chinchillated tans, inhibits the expression of phaomelanin(yellow pigment) in the coat.  So if a mouse was indeed a gold fox genetically, it would manifest phenotypically as a mock albino, and simply look white.  
  So in light of this and the fact that marking genetics has been all but ruled out in the lines we've testmated, the only conclusion we can come to at this time, is the issue I mentioned in an above chapter, about , intermediate heterozygous relationships between different c alleles.  

POINT OF NOTE:  Regular marten sable and fox variety mice are sable and tan mice respectively, affected by the chinchilla gene, thus most of the yellow is bleached out of the coat.  This makes it impossible to have any type of gold colouring with this gene present.  (beige fox is different)

Written by Yvette Mackail.  

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