UK Glider Genetics Explained

So far in the UK we have dominant and recessive genes so I will tell you what each mean and how you go about producing coloured joey’s with these genes. 

Dominant Trait/Gene

All traits are created with pairs of chromosomes. Dominant traits only need one of the two to be specific to that morph in order for the colour to show in the joey. WFB is a dominant trait. If  a WFB parent  is put with a grey they can produce both WFB and grey joeys. The unusual thing about dominant traits is that should a joey be a grey from a pairing with the trait they will not carry the gene at all, not even as a het. It is only carried on visible joeys.

Recessive Trait/Gene

For recessive mutations a joey requires a pair of chromosomes and gets one from each parent. Now for the glider to be a visual it needs a pair of these traits, so for example Leucistic gliders are recessive and they require one leu gene from each parent in order for this trait to show on the fur. So mum needs to pass on a gene and so does dad. Now this is the tricky bit, breeding colour to colour is completely taboo, should you want to breed to produce leus or any other recessive colour you need to at least breed colour to het, or het to het. You will find no one in the UK will buy your joeys if you are breeding colour to colour. 
Hets explained

Hets are when a gene is carried but does not show on the glider, for example a leu male with a grey female, the leu male can only pass on the leu gene to young, and the grey can only pass on the grey gene to its young. Because this gene is recessive it needs both parents to pass on a colour to show, but if one parent passes on the gene and one doesn't then it will not show but it will be a leu carrier, called a 100% het leu. 

Leu visual (ll), Grey 100% het leu (Gl) and standard grey (GG) as you can see hets carry the gene and this allows them to pass it on to their joeys, but they also carry the grey gene so there is only a 1 in 2 chance the leu gene will be passed on from the het parent. 

Different colours, what they are and how you can make some


Recessive colours in the UK


Leucistics were one of the two first colours in the UK, to produce a leucistic both gliders MUST carry the leu gene. Parings that will produce you leu young are:

Leucistic to 100% het leu = these will produce all leu and het leu young. 

Het leu to het leu young = these will produce leu, het leu and grey young. Until the het leus and greys are proven out you would sell your grey joeys as 66% hey leus as you do not know which to and which do not carry the het gene. This makes it a gamble for your buyer but there’s a 2/3 chance their new grey joey will carry the gene so its a good gamble. I am very pleased to say  a friend of mine from South Wales Sugar Gliders is a breeder of visuals and hets. 

NEVER EVER breed leu to leu: the UK has a small gene pool of leus and breeders are trying to breed that genetic trait out, leu to leu breeding risks causing all the problems the USA had, so no leu to leu breeding. No one will buy your joeys from a leu to leu pairing. The ideal breeding is Leu to het leu. 


A cremino is an off-white sugar glider, with light cream markings and burgundy eyes. Also called a T+ albino. This glider is a recessive colour morph and it requires 2 of the gene like the leus in order to produce coloured joeys.  

NEVER BREED CREMINO TO CREMINO it needs to be at the highest Cremino to het cremino, the same rules apply as they do for the Leus. 



Albino - An albino is a white sugar glider with red eyes, it lacks all kind of pigmentation. The albino gene is also recessive and requires a copy from each parent to produce coloured joeys. 

AGAIN NO ALBINO TO ALBINO BREEDING. An ideal breeding pair would be Albino to het or het to het. 

photo courtesy of


Dominant Colours in the UK

White Faced Blonde

White Faced Blonde, also called WFB is a dominant trait, so all you need for this colour to show in your joeys is one parent showing the trait, you can pair this colour morphs with anything and there is a 50% chance it will show in your joeys. Now the joeys that do not show it do not carry it, it is not a carrier like a recessive trait. 


This is another dominant trait, again you do not need to have 2 copies of the gene in order for it to show, and again the joeys will either have it or they will not, if they do not show it then they are not carriers either. 


Complicated colour morphs


Although platinum is recessive in some ways it is dominant in others so I have put this in a class all of its own. There are two ways to produce these shown here:

Both parents must carry the platinum gene, so for example:

Platinum to het platinum which will produce platinum and het platinum.
Het plat to het plat which will produce platinum, het platinum and greys, the same rules apply, all grey showing joey’s need to be sold as 66% het for platinum until they are proven one way or the other.

Now platinum can also be produced with the leu gene present, this is where it gets complicated, I suspect this gene is recessive to grey which is why you need two morphs in order for it to show but it is dominant to leu which is why you can get platinum from a plat to leu pairing.

Now you can put:
Plat to Leu het
Het plat to leu which will give you
Het plat to het leu. 

True Platinum Mosaics

True platinum mosaics are another interesting morph, whereas other mosaics can potentially have platinum colouration as they powder out, they' are not genetically true platinums. True Platinum Mosaics have received the platinum gene from both parents (as platinum is in essence a recessive trait), as well as receiving the mosaic gene from one (as mosaic is a dominant trait). Both traits are visually present in the glider and this produces the colour morph "True platinum mosaic". 

To produce this morph you can have:

Platinum to mosaic het platinum
het platinum to mosaic het platinum
platinum to mosaic het leu
Leu to mosaic het platinum 
het leu to mosaic het platinum
het platinum to mosaic het leu. 


Copyright of Louise Goodger