How many types of chinchilla are there

Cultivated forms of chinchillas

The genus chinchilla is strictly divided into two types: short-tailed chinchillas and long-tailed chinchillas. Short-tailed chinchillas were divided into king chinchillas and small short-tailed chinchillas. However, the king chinchilla is already completely extinct, and the small, short-tailed chinchilla is also very rare these days. The long-tailed chinchilla is also almost completely exterminated in the wild, but is still kept by humans. The chinchillas, which are mainly kept as pets today, are a hybrid of small short-tailed chinchillas and long-tailed chinchillas. Whereby they are more like the latter. The original color of the small rodents is wild, in breeding it is called "standard". However, many other color variations emerged through breeding. The basic colors are to be presented here.


Chinchillas of this color have a light to dark gray fur that becomes lighter on the belly and on the sides. The hairline is white, the tail dark to black and the ears gray. The eyes are black.


White was the first color mutation to appear in chinchillas. The American Wilson bred the first white chinchilla in 1955, which is why this color is also called Wilson-White. The fur of these chinchillas is solid white, the ears are grayish and the eyes are black. The color category white also includes the colors platinum, silver, ebony white and pink white.


The fur of these chinchillas has different shades of beige and can be piebald or monochrome. On the sides and on the belly as well as on the hairline, the fur becomes lighter to white. The ears are always pink in color, and the eyes vary from dark to light red. All beige color variations are also available in "Ebony", then the belly, hairline and sides are not lighter but have the same color as the fur on the back.


The fur on the head, back, belly, and tail is blue-gray, and the belly is white. Chinchillas of this color have black or dark blue eyes and pink ears with a slight blue tinge.


With this color, a distinction is made between Afro violet and German violet. Chinchillas of the color Afro Violet have purple-gray fur on the head, back and sides. The belly is bright white. The eyes are black and the ears are gray with a purple tinge. The variant German violet is very similar, but has a brownish tinge.


Chinchillas of the color Charcol have a completely gray to black fur, sometimes with a brownish tinge. Variants of this color are pastel charcoal, sapphire charcoal and purple charcoal.


Here, too, a distinction is made between different variants. Animals of the variant "Homo Ebony" have a completely black fur, black eyes and gray ears. In the color "Hetero Ebony" the sides and head are gray and the chinchillas have a black blaze. In "Brown Ebony" the animals are completely brown, the eyes red and the ears pink. There are also the variants "Pastel Ebony", "Saphir Ebony" and "Violet Ebony".


There is also a "Velvet" version of almost all the colors already mentioned. "Black Velvet" and "Brown Velvet" are just two examples. Velvet-colored animals have a particularly velvety and shiny coat.

(Alexandra Frankh)