so i just got two gerbils, sushi and lychee. sushi is the darker one and lychee is the lighter one. i think lychee is either dove or sapphire and sushi is lilac/sapphire but it's hard to say since the colour of their fur varies depending on the lighting.
this is sushi in brighter natural light and you can see she looks just like lychee: ibb.co/LkJ0hNx
as you can see their fur appears lighter and much more similar when they are exposed to more light, whereas in their cage the shade makes their fur look darker and they are easier to distinguish from each other. What colour would they be? Also, if anyone would be willing to help me figure out their genes that would be appreciated I am not planning on breeding either of them but I am exploring the idea of possibly breeding gerbils one day so I want to get the hang of determining genes. I'm not really sure how to do that, if you just have to observe their appearance or if you also have to know the parents' genes. I read that pp is the gene (I think) for red eyes and it's seems that they both have red pigment in their eyes, however sushi has darker eyes that can appear black so i'm not sure if her eye gene would be considered red or black.
Fire away on the genes questions - as that is the easy part.
However I am not too good on images of the colours - and it depends possibly on whether you have the dilute gene in your area (which I haven't worked with in person yet).
Assuming they have red/wine eyes - at first glance - I would say that they are Lilac (darker overall) and Sapphire (lighter overall) - as these two colours are temperature dependent and so can look slightly different in different environments anyway.
Now in some images their eyes look much darker which is where the dilute gene might be at play. I think tagging Shooting Star is our best bet here to be 100% (which we would need to work out the genetics properly).
Genetics can be inferred by what they look like on the outside in most cases. Certain colours 'have' to have certain genes to be that colour - for example a gerbil can't be Black unless it has two recessive 'non-agouti' genes. So all Black gerbils will at least be called aa - and a lot of the other genes can be known by the fact that it isn't another colour already - so a Black gerbil isn't colourpoint - so we know that it mut have a dominant 'not colorpoint gene - so we are on to aa C.
We also know it doesn't have red eyes, isn't ginger or Slate - so we can complete the full compliment of genes that made it Black (aa C* E* P* Uw*).
All the little *s are unguessable on first looking - they are hidden - but if we know what colour for sure the parents were - we can start to fill them in. So if the Black gerbil had, say, a Burmese parent - they would HAVE to pass on a cchm gene to all their offspring. Or if they were Slate they would have to pass on a uwd gene etc - and we can start to better predict what pups they 'could' produce if bred to certain partners.