oac button
bunny illustration

Harlequin Breeding Stock

Harlequins have traditionally been considered a fancier's breed, though the ARBA standard does require a commercial-type body. The name "Harlequin" is probably a reference to the eponymous comedic-servant character of 16th-century Italian comedy. The character usually appears dressed in a patch-work motley and sometimes wears a mask of either black and white, or black and red. The rabbit likewise is to have a patches of colour properly distributed over its body, including a facial divide: half light, half dark.

Harlequins come in two varieties: Magpie and Japanese. The Magpie variety has a base colour of white with patches of black, blue, chocolate, or lilac. The Japanese variety has a base colour of orange with patches of black, blue, chocolate, or lilac. It's likely that the term "Japanese" is used to describe the latter variety because the colours black and red have been associated with Japan in European culture since at least the 19th century. The breed probably never had anything to do with Japan and is believed to have originated in France in the 19th century.

Harlequins are very easy-going, docile rabbits and make affectionate pets.


DRH's High Five, "Solo"
Lilac Magpie Senior Buck

Farfelu's Luna
Black Magpie Senior Doe


DRH's Black Hat, "Sushi"
Black Japanese Senior Doe
Registered Grand Champion