Saturday, August 06, 2005

Wideband, Tans, and Otters

Well, I did the best I could with photos. It is difficult to hold a squirming bunny, aim the camera, and part the belly fur all at the same time!

Elaine (congrats on becoming a Grandma!) had asked how to tell if an Otter carries double wideband. Technically, an Otter can't, if it does it is genetically a Tan. However, at this early stage of development, I refer to all of them as Otters because of the poor color development. Tans have firey red markings, and I have a way to go before I achieve that, if ever, because Angora hair by its nature dilutes whatever color it has. Too bad I'm not trying to develop Tans and Otters in Satin angoras, I'd have better color!

At any rate, the Wideband gene that controls the belly color in reds and tan pattern rabbits is represented by W for the dominant and w for the recessive. The recessive wideband gene is what affects the belly color. However, its dominant partner is an incomplete dominant. So, 3 tan pattern rabbits with ww, Ww, and WW can be told apart by close examination of the coloring of the belly fur.

The recessive wideband gene has several effects on the Tan markings. It extends the tan markings and increases the ticking along the sides. It also removes the undercolor from the belly so that the belly is white, cream, fawn, or red to the skin, depending upon the amount of rufus modifiers present. I have found that with the angoras, the most reliable indicator of wideband is the presence and amount of slate blue undercolor on the belly.

Here are some examples, although I acknowledge that the photos aren't that great:

double wideband

This little girl is a Chocolate Tan angora with 2 recessive wideband genes. You will note that where her belly fur is parted, it is cream colored to the skin, there is no slate blue undercolor at all. She does have some undercolor in her lap marks, but that is permissible.

single wideband

This little lilac otter buck is short haired. He does have some slate blue undercolor, but it is pale and confined to the lower 1/3 of the hair shaft. He has only 1 recessive wideband gene.

no wideband

This little chocolate otter doe is also shorthaired, but you can easily spot her undercolor. It extends much further up the hair shaft. She has no recessive wideband genes.

Someday when I have three tan pattern angoras at the same stage of development I will repost photos that show the undercolor differences better than these do.


claudia at countrywool said...

I am SO intrigued by these wide band and tan genetics. I sincerely want one of your rabbits once you get a black based patterned angora you are willing to part with.

Jan said...

Believe me, you're first on my list when I do! Right now I have one blue otter doe, but she is a short-hair. I bred her to Vinnie, hopefully I'll get some otter angoras from the breeding.

In another month or so, my black otter angora doe will be ready to breed, I'm breeding her to the blue angora buck who is full brother to the one pictured way down below, and I can't wait to see that litter! No shorthairs!!!


Elaine said...

Ah yes! Once I got my head out of that grandbaby's crib it was right there is the book eh? hehe Good luck on those Tans and Otters, it's a stiking color in angora.

Jan said...

Thank you, Elaine! It's been quite a challenge so far!