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EMS codes

Color names used by breeders can often become very long and often have colors that aren’t recognised anywhere else. For that reason, we only use recognised colors based upon our own genetic research. Which is very similar to the Hedgehog Central guide that’s still used by most European breeders!

What are EMS codes?
EMS is short for Easy Mind System and is often used in cats and dogs to very briefly point out the race, color and pattern of an animal so it doesn’t take up too much space on a pedigree. With this system, you can even make up genetic codes and calculate colors and patterns in offspring when mating two animals. It takes a while to get used to the codes, but once you have them in your head, they are incredibly easy to work with. Especially if everyone uses the same system.
How do we use it?
EMS is short for Easy Mind System and is often used in cats and dogs to very briefly point out the race, color and pattern of an animal so it doesn’t take up too much space on a pedigree. With this system, you can even make up genetic codes and calculate colors and patterns in offspring when mating two animals. It takes a while to get used to the codes, but once you have them in your head, they are incredibly easy to work with. Especially if everyone uses the same system.First of all, you note down the species code for the animal, so we know what kind of hedgehog we’re looking at. For an African Pygmy Hedgehog the code is APH. If the hedgehog for example is a Chocolate colored hedgehog, it becomes an APH f. When the hedgehog happens to have a splitface, we consider it a Masked Pinto and it becomes an APH f 04. Does the hedgehog have a cheek patch and belly mottling? Then it’s an Umbrous too (previously Algerian) and the full code is APH f 04 21. The animal could also be a Snowflake, adding another code and it’s eventual EMS code will be APH f 04 11 21. This way you make an incredibly long color name (Algerian Chocolate Splitface Pinto snowflake) a very short code, in which everything still is listed.

Odd ears and odd eyes are not listed as EMS code, because it’s not perse hereditary and goes around randomly within a bloodline. Those are often visible on photo’s though, so make sure to add photo’s to your registered hedgehogs!

Every hedgehog has a base color underneath the pattern, unless it’s a full reversed pinto. Make sure you list that color underneath in the pedigrees, otherwise making color calculations can become very difficult.

My hedgehog's color is not in the chart, how can i add it?
We only use recognised colors on our platform and unrecognised colors that are in the process of being recognised, to make sure everyone uses the same names for colors and patterns, to avoid confusement. With an increasing amount of import and export between Europe and the United States, this becomes more important then ever. However, because we use the current colors recognised in Europe as well as our own researched colors (not yet recognised), as an American breeder you could have a color in your herd that’s not recognised by us. Not a problem, we’re happy to help you out deciding the color you can register the hedgehog too!

But if you’re certain that you have a new color on your hands and want to get it recognised, you can always send us a color standard application form. Read more about the process of getting colors recognised here, or get in touch!

EMS codes

English name Latin name EMS code
African Pygmy Hedgehog Atelerix albiventris APH
North African Hedgehog Atelerix algirus NAH
Somali Hedgehog Atelerix sclateri SOM
Long Eared Hedgehog Hemiechinus auritus LEH
Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec Echinops telfairi LHT


Other species can be added subject to population in captivity. An EMS code will be applied to every new species recognised.

Recognised colors

Color name Genetic code EMS code
Dark Grey A* B* C* D* P* a
Black aa B* C* D* P* n
Brown A* bb C* D* P* b
Albino A* B* cc D* P* c
Grey A* B* C* dd P* d
Cinnicot A* B* C* D* pp m
Chocolate aa bb C* D* P* f
Cinnamon A* bb C* dd P* h
Apricot ** ** cc ** pp am
Pale Apricot ** ** cc ** pp em
Champagne ** ** cc ** pp om


Other colors can be added by applying a new color standard. Read more here about the procedure to get colors recognised.

Unrecognised colors, being processed

Color name Genetic code EMS code
Slate Blue aa B* C* dd P* g
Lilac aa bb C* dd P* j
Fawn aa bb C* D* pp im
Other colors ** ** cc ** ** y

Recognised patterns

Pattern name Genetic code EMS code
Pinto Pi* 01
Reversed Pinto Pi* rr 02
Full Reversed Pinto
(Leucistic/Ruby eyed white/Black eyed white)
Pi* rr 03
Masked Pinto
(splitface, blaze, whiteface, etc.)
Pi* ff 04
Snowflake
(Charcoal colors)
Ss 11
White
(Platinum colors)
SS 12
Doublewhite
(Platinum colors)
SS or ww 13
Umbrous
(prev. algerian)
U* 21
No Umbrous
(prev. Whitebellied)
uu No EMS code


Other colors can be added by applying a new color standard. Read more here about the procedure to get colors recognised.
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