Commonly identified as the D Locus, the Dense or Dilute Locus controls the density of the pigment in each fur strand. Although it alone does not control color, it works with the B Locus to give the four distinctive base colors known to rabbits: black, chocolate, blue, and lilac. A simple locus, there are only two variations, but it causes the creation of some the most unique and stunning colors. 

The ‘D’ or Dense gene

  • Causes there to be a normal level of color pigment concentration on each hair shaft.
  • Completely dominant. 
  • When paired with the ‘B’ gene, the ‘D’ causes a black base color, and when ‘D’ is paired with the ‘b’ (chocolate) gene, the chocolate base color is produced.

Black Harliquin


Broken Orange


Broken Black GTS


The ‘d’ or Dilute gene

  • Results in reduced color pigment concentration. 
  • Completely recessive, so if it is expressed, it is always homozygous (‘dd’). 
  • Paired with the ‘B’ gene, the dilute gene causes the blue base color. When paired with the ‘b’ gene, a lilac base color is produced. 

Lilac Chinchilla



Blue STS




Interested in the learning about the other color loci? Check out our Rabbit Genetics page for further reading!

Note: Quick thank you to for their article on the D gene which was referenced in the process of writing this post!

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