Gerbil Species and Breeds

There are 87 known species and 14 genera of gerbil. The Mongolian gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus), also referred to as the desert rat, originates from Mongolia and Northern China and is an extremely good digger, digging with its front paws and kicking debris away with its strong hind legs.


Mongolian Gerbil

Full-grown Mongolian gerbils reach a length of 12-14 cm from nose to the base of the tail and the tail is approximately 8-10 cm in length. The head is broad and short and the tail is covered in fur with a small tuft at the end. The Mongolian gerbil is a sociable pet appreciating the company of others. Gerbils are active both in the day and night, sleeping at intervals for a couple of hours. Gerbils are good natured and inquisitive making them extremely good pets. The average lifespan is 3-5 years although they can live longer.

Color StandardGuard HairsUndercoatEyesNose
AlbinoWhite to creamWhite to creamRuby redPink
BlackBlackWhite to slight goldenBlack or near blackBlack
Black SableDark ash blackish brownWhite to creamDark brown or near blackBlackish brown
ChampagneTanWhite to creamLight to dark burgundy to dark brownBeige or pink
ChocolateWarm milk chocolateWhiteBrown or dark burgundyBeige or pink
Dark-eyed WhiteWhite to creamWhite to creamBurgundyPink
SableDeep brownWhite to cream or light goldenBrown or near blackLight or mottled brown