Holland lops come in so many colors, it can be confusing trying to figure them out. Since we have had some pretty weird ones, we decided offer a guide to help you identify and learn about rabbit colors. It's not an exhaustive list, so feel free to email me at [email protected] if you have questions or would like to add your bunny's picture to our guide.
Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a list of colors we don’t have pictures for.
The classic wild rabbit color, chestnuts are the most common of all the agouti colors.
Eye color: Brown
Kit Coloring: Newborns are often entirely black with the exception of their agouti or broken markings. As they age, they lighten into a medium brown.
Adult Coloring: Adult chestnuts can range in shades of brown with dark ticking across their coat. An orange intermediate band of color is present on each hair, and can be seen on mid length fur near the nape and muzzle. They have a gray undercoat that may be visible on their sides, ears, and face where the fur is shorter.
Opal rabbits have rich blue coats with agouti markings.
Eye color: Blue/gray
Kit Coloring: Newborns are blue with the exception of their agouti or broken markings. As they age, they grow out their ticked blue fur and fawn markings.
Adult Coloring: Adult opals have thickly ticked blue fur. A cream intermediate band of color is present on each hair, and can be seen on mid length fur near the nape and muzzle. They have a gray undercoat that may be visible on their sides, ears, and face where the fur is shorter.
Chinchillas, named after the South American rodent with a similar coloring, are often described as a gray version of chestnuts.
Eye Color: Brown
Kit Coloring: As newborns, chinchillas are dark gray with agouti markings. As their coat grows in, black tipping and white becomes apparent.
Adult Coloring: Adult chinchillas are primarily gray with black ticking across their coat and agouti markings. Two white intermediate bands of color are present on each hair, separated by a short black band. They have a dark gray undercoat that is visible on their sides, ears, and face where the fur is shorter.
Also known as blue chinchilla, squirrel is one of the rarer colors in holland lops.
Eye Color: Blue/Gray
Kit Coloring: As newborns, squirrels are light gray sometimes verging on pink. When their fur begins to grow in, they are a shimmery blue gray color.
Adult Coloring: Adult squirrels are a blue/gray color with agouti markings. Their darker gray undercoat is visible on their ears and face. Where fur is medium in length, on their chest, sides, and nape, their white intermediate band can be seen. Full length hair shows the white and gray tips to create a distinct look.
Sable chinchillas, also known as sable agoutis, combine the shaded genes with the agouti pattern to create a unique look.
Eye Color: Brown
Kit Coloring: As newborns, sable chinchillas are light gray to pink, and easily confused with squirrels. Once their fur begins to grow in, shading becomes visible. They usually develop their adult coloring by six months.
Adult Coloring: Sable chinchillas have a shaded coat with agouti markings. Their dark gray shading visible on their ears, face, and legs. Their coat is tipped with brown that mixes with their white intermediate band. Where fur is medium in length, on their sides, nape and chest, the white is more apparent.
The most popular Wideband color, orange is a classic bright and cheery color.
Eye Color: Brown
Kit Coloring: Newborns are often entirely pink, but a smutty orange may have tort-like shading. As their coat grows in, any shading will become more apparent and their bright color develops.
Adult Coloring: Oranges have a - you guessed it - orange coat with agouti markings. They should have a light orange to off-white undercoat, and a bright orange band that colors the coat. Smutty oranges often have a gray undercoat, causing shorter hair to look darker.
A dilute version of orange, creams are, in my opinion, one of the prettiest wideband colors
Eye Color: Blue/Gray
Kit Coloring: Newborns are usually pink, possibly with minimal shading. As they mature, they develop a the creamy tan color that gives them their name.
Adult Coloring: Creams are a beige color with agouti markings. Similar to oranges, they have a light tan undercoat with a darker outercoat. Smuttier creams may have a blue gray undercoat that can be seen where fur is shorter on their ears, face, and paws.
Also known as frosted pearls, frosty is the lightest color in the wideband group.
Eye Color: Brown
Kit Coloring: Newborns are entirely pink. As they mature, their points will appear light gray, and there may be minimal gray throughout the coat.
Adult Coloring: Adult frosties have a white undercoat with a darker gray tip on their nose, ears, tail, and feet. They may have light gray bands on the tips of their fur where it is longest, on their back.
Because of their similarity to black frosties, sable frosties are often not recognized as a different color.
Eye Color: Brown
Kit Coloring: Newborns are entirely pink. Within the first week they may develop darker points.
Adult Coloring: Sable frosties have dark gray points and a white/gray ticked coloring across their body. Some may have a brown cast to their shading, allowing them to be distinguished from black based frosties.
The most basic of the self category, blacks are a classic color.
Eye Color: Brown
Kit Coloring: Newborn kits are entirely black with no markings. As they mature, their color intensifies.
Adult Coloring: Blacks have a dark slate undercoat and that extends into its jet black coloring. There are no markings.
The dilute version of black, blues capture the essence of dilute colors in an adorable way.
Eye Color: Blue/Gray
Kit Coloring: Newborn coats are entirely blue/gray with no markings.
Adult Coloring: Adult blues range in intensity. Some may express as dark slate gray, while others are lighter and almost silvery. Their undercoat is usually a lighter blue.
Chocolates are just and rich and beautiful as the candy they are named after
Eye Color: Brown
Kit Coloring: As newborns, they have a chocolate coloring that deepens within the first few weeks of development.
Adult Coloring: Adult chocolates have a rich brown surface color with no markings. Their undercoat is a medium gray.
Pictures courtesy of Hot Cross Buns Rabbitry
Lilacs are a beautiful dusty color and one of the rarer self colors.
Eye Color: Blue/gray
Kit Coloring: Newborns are a light gray color that grows into a lilac shade as the kit matures.
Adult Coloring: Adult lilacs are a dove gray with a pink undertone with no markings. Their undercoat is a lighter dove gray.
The most common color in holland lops, Black torts are well developed and easy to find in good form. Though they may appear to be shaded, they do not possess any shaded genes.
Eye Color: Brown
Kit Coloring: Newborns range from pink to light brown with darker shading on their sides. As they mature, their coat darkens.
Adult Coloring: Adult black torts have a rusty brown surface color and a light slate blue undercoat. Their undercoat is visible where fur is shorter, on their sides and face. They have dark brown shading on their ears, muzzle, paws, and tail.
Blue torts have a color similar to cream in its soft tan coloring.
Eye Color: Blue/gray
Kit Coloring: Newborn kits are usually pink with blue shading. As they mature, they quickly develop their adult coloring.
Adult Coloring: Blue torts have a creamy beige surface color and a blue/gray undercoat. Their points are shaded with a deeper blue color.
REW (Ruby Eyed White):
Ruby eyed whites are what’s known as albino in other species. Their homogenous “cc” genes are able to mask all other genes to create an entirely white coats.
Eye Color: Red pupil with a pink iris
Kit Coloring: Newborn REW kits are entirely pink. After a week or two, their white fur grows in and red eyes open and allow for easy identification.
Adult Coloring: Adult REWs are pure white. Shorter fur on their ears and nose may cause their skin to show through and appear pink.
BEW (Blue Eyed White):
Pure white with striking blue eyes, BEWs are a rare and unique color. Two Vienna (v) genes mask the rest of their genotype, similar to the albino gene.
Eye Color: Blue
Kit Coloring: Newborn BEW kits are entirely pink. After a week or two, their white fur grows in and red eyes open and allow for easy identification.
Adult Coloring: Adult BEWs have pure white fur with no markings.
Holland Lop colors vary from a deep solid black, to broken lighter shades. There are a huge variety of shades, so every Holland Lop bunny can seem quite unique!
Whether you’re planning on showing your Holland Lop, or you’re just keeping one as a beloved family pet, learning about the different potential coat colors is fun.
And, it can help you narrow down what shade your bunny is if you aren’t quite sure!
To start things off, let’s take a closer look at the different Holland Lop color categories.
Holland Lop Colors
Generally, Holland Lop colors are divided into 8 wider categories. Within these categories are a number of different color and shade variations.
So, even if two Holland Lop bunnies are completely different colors, such as white and black, they could still fall into the same color category!
Here are the 8 Holland Lop color groups:
- Pointed White
- Tan Pattern
- Wide Band
The genetics of animal coloring can be quite confusing. So, in this guide we are going to stick to the basics, and look at some different potential Holland Lop colors within the above categories.
If you’re more interested in learning about the genetics of rabbit colors and patterns, take a look at this article!
Holland Lop rabbits with agouti coloring will often look ‘flecked’ or brindled.
This appearance comes from coloring on each individual hair in your rabbit’s fur. Every hair will be made up of two or more shades.
These colors are banded on the hair, but you won’t necessarily see these bands unless you look up close.
In general, agouti Holland Lop rabbits tend to look greyish or brownish in their overall coloring. Some people say that agouti bunnies look like wild rabbits!
Some of the potential color variations within the agouti category include:
- Chocolate chestnut
- Chocolate chinchilla
The term broken sounds a little strange when referring to rabbit colors! But, if you see a broken Holland Lop, it will make more sense.
Broken rabbits have two colors in their coat – one of which is always white. The white coloring breaks up the other pigment on their coat, creating a unique pattern.
Tri color Holland Lop rabbits will also fall into this category.
Just like the non-white color can vary, the amount of visible pigment and placement of this pigment can vary from one rabbit to the next.
In order to show a broken Holland Lop rabbit, they must have between 10 and 70% color on their coat.
Pointed white coloring in rabbits is also sometimes called Himalayan or Californian.
Holland Lops that are pointed white will have a white body, but darker points at their extremities. This includes their ears, nose, feet, and tail.
The points can be any of the following colors:
But, the rest of the Holland Lop’s body will be completely white.
Self coloring simply means one unbroken shade over your Holland Lop’s entire coat.
It’s pretty easy to recognize self Holland Lop colors, as they will have only one shade over their entire coat, and each individual hair will contain only one pigment, unlike agouti bunnies.
Self Holland Lop rabbits can come in a huge range of colors, including:
- BEW (Blue Eyed White
- REW (Red Eyed White
Holland Lop bunnies with shaded colors will have a lighter base, but darker shades at their head, ears, feet, and tail.
The shaded Holland Lop colors can include:
- Sable Point
- Siamese Sable
- Smoke Pearl
Tortoise shaded Holland Lops can be black, blue, chocolate, or lilac.
Holland Lop rabbits with the tan pattern will usually have one base color edged with a different shade.
Tan pattern Holland Lops will be either:
- Black otter
- Blue otter
- Chocolate otter
- Lilac otter
The edge coloring on their coat will be an orange/tan and then potentially white.
Ticked Holland Lops will have a darker base color to their coat, with lighter guard hairs throughout to give a ticking effect.
The base colors can be black, blue, chocolate, or lilac.
Ticking hairs can be steel, gold, or silver.
Our final Holland Lop color variation is wide band.
The wideband genes are recessive, so rabbits must receive one copy from both parents if they are to have wideband coloring.
Wideband Holland Lop bunnies can be:
Showing Holland Lops
Holland Lop colors may be important to you if you are planning on entering your bunny into shows.
Rules and breed standards may differ a little depending on where you are in the world. So, make sure to check with breed groups in your area for specific details.
According to the ARBA, only solid and broken Holland Lop color groups qualify for show.
However, they can be disqualified if their pattern is under 10% or over 70% in broken bunnies.
What Color is Your Holland Lop?
Now you know all of the different Holland Lop colors, can you identify which grouping your own bunny falls into?
If you’re still struggling, your vet will be able to help you during your bunny’s next check up!
References and Resources
31 Holland Lop Rabbit Colors (with Pictures)
Holland lops are playful, energetic rabbits that are commonly owned as pets and presented at shows. They are often best for quiet households because they can be quite skittish. These rabbits can come in all kinds of colors and patterns because they have been bred for many years.
Holland lops will either have a solid coat that only has one color or “broken,” meaning they have different patches of colors that can form many different patterns.
These rabbits are only shown under those two categories, but outside of a showing context, the colors can be grouped and sub-grouped further.
The primary groups or classifications for Holland Lops include:
- Pointed White
- Tan Pattern
- Wide Band
Within these seven main categories, you will find different versions, colors, and patterns. Let’s go into more detail about the kinds of rabbits that you will find in each group.
Self-colored is the most straightforward color pattern that a Holland Lops can have. They will only have one solid color across their entire bodies. Sometimes their eyes will be different shades, but otherwise, they are all one color.
The most basic color group within self-colored rabbits is black. They are born entirely black without any markings, and their color continues to intensify as they get older. Black Holland Lops have brown eyes. The black can vary in tone from dark slate to jet black.
Blue rabbits might not be what you expect. They are not “blue” but instead, a diluted version of black, a gray with a blue tint. These rabbits will have blue-gray eyes and are born without any markings. The colors intensify with maturity and range from dark slate gray to an almost silvery color, with the undercoat a bit lighter.
A chocolate Hollands has a rich brown shade, much like a milk chocolate bar. They also have brown eyes. As kits, they have a chocolate coloring that begins to deepen within a few weeks of development. As adults, they have an undercoat that is often light, slate-gray.
Much like the blue Holland Lops, Lilacs are not exactly light purple but still reminiscent of the color. They are a dusty shade of blue-gray, much lighter than any other gray-colored rabbit. The lilac shade deepens with age and often becomes a dove-gray with a pinkish undertone.
5. REW, or Ruby-Eyed White
Ruby-eyed whites can be confused with albino rabbits, and their actual coloration can only be determined through future breeding. They are entirely pink at birth. As an adult, these rabbits will be pure white with ruby-red eyes, much like an albino.
6. BEW, or Blue-Eyed White
These white rabbits are easier to tell apart from albino rabbits because they will have striking blue eyes. This color and eye combination are quite rare. The kits will still be entirely pink but will have white fur that grows within the first couple of weeks. Adults have pure, white fur.
Shaded bunnies are similar to the solid-colored variety but with darker markings on their head, feet, ears, and tail. We include broken types in this category, but some people put these variations into a separate group.
Seal is the darkest color in this category and may sometimes be confused with self-colored black rabbits when they are younger. Seals often have deep gray or dark chocolate brown fur, with a shading of black on their ears, head, feet, and tail. One way to differentiate them is to check their eyes for a ruby cast, since black rabbits will not have this.
8. Blue Seal
This variation of seal is lesser known as “blue seal.” They have the same traits, but with blue-gray fur covering most of their body and a darker gray on the shaded areas. Kits are often born as solidly blue without markings, and the shading becomes apparent at 6 months old at the latest.
9. Broken Blue
Broken blue exhibits the same color types as the blue seal color, with a random broken pattern intermixed with white or light gray on their bodies.
10. Smokey Pearl
These rabbits are similar to lilac-colored rabbits with a shimmery glow to their overall coloring. They become a rich pearl-gray as adults, with lightened sides and stomach. They will still have darker tones on areas typical of the shaded pattern.
11. Siamese Sable
Siamese sable rabbits are a mixture of silver-gray and dark brown in their undercoats and their marking spots. Adults have lighter sides, chests, and stomachs.
12. Sable Point
Sable points vary in shades of cream to gray on their bodies and have a lovely dark contrasting color on the front of their faces, ears, and feet. The color on their body is often described as off-white.
14. Blue Point
Blue-point rabbits are not established enough to be a showable color, but they are still adorable. The lighter shades across their whole body make them one of the prettiest shaded Holland Lops. They have an off-white coat with blue-gray points that develop little contrast.
15. Blue Tort
Blue and black tort rabbits are sometimes added to a different category because they do not always have the same point patterns that shaded rabbits typically do. They have a cream to soft tan color on their bodies and a darker tan to blue-gray color on their points.
16. Black Tort
A black tort rabbit often has a similar color pattern to a blue tort, but with darker gray or black point markings. Smuttier versions often have white mixed into the undercoat on their sides, stomach, chest, and heads.
Agouti is a common color pattern for many small mammals. In rabbits, the look more closely resembles wild rabbits. There are rings of color on each piece of fur, bands with contrasting light and dark colors. Agoutis commonly have white point markings around their eyes, mouth, nose, and bellies, under their tail, and inside the ears.
Any of the agouti color patterns can have broken variations that mix in white across the bodies and faces.
Chestnut is the classic coloration of a wild rabbit and is one of the most common of the agouti color patterns. Their ears are brown. As the kits mature, they soften from a black color to a medium brown, with agouti bands of dark gray, white, and cream.
Opal is similar to the blue self-colored pattern, but with agouti bands of light tan, black, cream, or gray shades. Their eyes will be blue-gray.
Chinchilla-colored rabbits are so named because of their distinct similarity to the coloration of chinchillas. They might also be considered a gray version of the chestnut agouti pattern. Their eyes will be brown. As the rabbits mature, black and white tipping becomes more apparent. Each piece of fur is mostly gray and has black, dark gray, or white bands.
Squirrel-colored agouti might also be known as “blue chinchilla” and is one of the rarest colors for this rabbit. They have blue-gray ears. When they are born, they have light-gray fur verging on pink. As they mature, the color develops into a shimmery blue-grey shade, and their agouti point markings become more apparent.
Pointed whites are one of the rarest color categories for Holland Lops. They have white bodies, ruby-red eyes, and dark point markings on their noses, ears, feet, and tails.
21. Black-Pointed White
Black pointed whites have dark brown or black-point markings.
22. Blue-Pointed White
Blue-pointed whites have light blue, cream, or chocolate brown shades on their pointed areas.
There are also chocolate and lilac pointed whites, but they are so rare, there is little information or photography.
Ticked Holland Lops are also quite rare, and the category can be a bit confusing since agouti patterns are also “ticked” with various bands of color at the end of their fur. Generally, there are only two types of true ticked rabbits: black gold-tipped steel and silver-tipped
24. Black Gold-Tipped Steel and Silver-Tipped Steel
Both of these rabbits have steel-gray to black undercoats, with only the end of their fur being ticked with a different color. The ends can be gold tipped in the first variety or silver in the second. Their color contrast is so stark that they often seem to shimmer in the light.
Tan patterns are frequently showable. They come in many different pattern types and can sometimes be confused for agouti rabbits because they have similar point markings. In addition to the agouti color points, tan rabbits can also have a tan shin strap that extends from their mouths toward their ears.
25. Black Otter
Black otters are the most distinctive rabbits in this category. Their primary color is black, with light tan point markings and ticking on their stomach and chest.
26. Blue and Broken Blue Otter
These rabbits have light cream or white point markings on a blue-gray body. They also have blue-grey eyes and can have light ticking on their chest and stomach.
27. Chocolate Otter
The chocolate otter pattern is the same as the other two otter colors, but with the primary color being deep, chocolaty brown.
28. Lilac Otter
This is not a common shade and can be confused with blue otter. The primary color tends to be much lighter than typical blue otter.
Wide-band colors are often the most popular colors for Holland Lops. Some of these patterns involve agouti point markings, but the difference is the exclusion of darker ticking on their fur. Instead of several thin bands, they get their name from the single, wide band of color, basically agoutis without the black.
All these color types can have broken varieties, depending on the rabbit’s parentage.
Orange is the most popular of these already beloved colors. The band is a bright orange that makes these rabbits look cheery and soft. Their eyes are brown. Kits start as entirely pink, and their shading becomes more apparent as they mature. As adults, they have undercoats that should be light orange or off-white.
There is also a “smutty orange” variety that may or may not be considered separately. They have a gray undercoat with darker gray ears.
Cream rabbits are a diluted version of orange. They have blue-gray eyes, and instead of being orange, they are a light beige color with agouti point markings.
Frosty Holland Lops can also be called “frosted pearls.” They are the lightest color variety in the wideband category. Their eyes are brown. The primary fur color is white, with darker gray on their points and wide bands of gray on their back.
Rabbit Genetics: Oranges, Otters and More…
Using Your Knowledge of the A Gene In Rabbit Breeding
Many phenotypes — that is, the color of the rabbit’s appearance– are easy to detect just by looking at the rabbit. Some are a bit more tricky. Knowing what the choices are from the parents’ phenotypes (or better yet, genotypes, if you know them), can help you figure out what color an animal actually is.
It can be difficult to tell the difference, for example, between an orange (which is an agouti color), a tort otter (sometimes referred to as an orange otter or a fox) and a broken black tortoiseshell (tort, a self color) that has brighter orange fur, especially if they are brokens. Here are pictures of the three colors for comparison. Broken versions are at the bottom of the page.
A_ B_ C_ D_ ee
A tort otter,
also known as “orange otter” or “fox”
at_ B_ C_ D_ ee
A self tortoise
aa B_ C_ D_ ee
If you determine that both parents are self colors, then you know that the rabbit is a tortoise who just happens to have a brighter color of fur. If the parents are agouti or otter, you must consider the other options. To determine the true color, in this case, test-breed the questionable colored rabbit to a black rabbit (the best choice is a true breeding black, that is aa BB CC DD EE). If the rabbit produces chestnut babies, it is an orange (the “A” is needed to make chestnut). If it produces a black otter, it is a tort otter and if neither is produced (with a sufficient number of offspring to account for chance), then the rabbit is a broken black tortoiseshell (tort).
Other colors are difficult to determine as well, such as the difference between a sable point and a sable point marten (the rabbit on the below left is a sable point marten, the rabbit on the right is a sable point). Again, if both parents were self, the rabbit would be sable point. If either parent was agouti or otter, then the rabbit could be a marten. A test breeding could help you make a determination in this case as well.
|Sable Point Marten|
at_ B_ cchlc D_ ee
|Sable Point Holland Lop|
aa B_ cchlc D_ ee
Another great use for understanding the a gene is in the development of otters. Because otters are rarer in Holland Lops (they were culled out as non-showable for years–now we want them back!), your first otter may very well be an otter carrying self (“A-a”).
The Importance of True-Breeding Otters
Your first goal would be to produce true breeding otters, that is, otters that have two at genes (at-at) and the correct pairs of the other color genes for the color you are attempting, of course. You can tell from the chart on the previous page that you cannot produce a true-breeding otter from an otter and a self. You can get some true-breeding otters, though, from breeding two self-carrying otters (at-a). But, only 25% of your offspring from two self-carrying otters will be true-breeding otters. Twenty-five percent won’t be otters at all, and that’s easy to determine. But of the otters, you will not be able to tell by looking at them which are the true breeding otters. By watching their offspring, however, you will be able to get a pretty good idea whether they are true-breeding or not. If an otter ever produces even one self baby, it is not true breeding. (You can go to the chart and follow the “at-at” line across or the column down and you will not find one single “a-a” offspring.)
In case it is not apparent, let me specifically state that the advantage to having true breeding otters when you are developing an otter line is that you will more reliably produce otters. You will need the greater numbers of otters to work with in improving their conformity to the standards. Usually this improvement is done by breeding true-to-type black tortoiseshell back into your otter line (which are a-a, of course). If you try to work with self-carrying otters, only half of your resulting offspring would be otter (on the average). I recently had a litter like that with five kits and got no otters at all–how frustrating! Had I a true-breeding otter, all of the kits would have been otters (100% at-a).
The next article offers a chart that helps you compare colors that only differ by the A-series genes.
Orange holland lop
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