Unfortunately, there is a great deal of confusion when it comes to distinguishing Algerian from White-Bellied colours. This isn't surprising considering the similarities - and misconceptions - between the two.
To understand Algerian colours is to understand the genesis of the domestic hedgehog. You see, the domestic hedgehog is the result of the crossing of two distinctly different species of African Hedgehog - the White-Bellied (Atelerix albiventris) and the Algerian. (Atelerix algirus)
While the two species were a compatible mix, blending the physical characteristics of each into the pet hedgehog of today, the colours proved incompatible and never did successfully blend. (The Apricot was the only colour to succeed in coming out of this cross, being a true mutation created when the cinnamon genes of the two species collided) As a result, we now have two distinct and separate colour groups within the colour classification system of the domestic hedgehog. The two species colour's cannot mix either. At no time will you ever see a <GM>, <CL>, or any other such inter-species mixing of colour chromosomes. There is a defined and impassable barrier between the colour groups. This is not, however, true of the physical characteristics. You may still see an Algerian-coloured hedgehog with White-Bellied physical features and vice versa.
In spite of the obvious incompatibility between the colour groups, they do mirror one another rather nicely. All variations of colour that exist in White-Bellied's also hold true for Algerian's. There are 15 dominant colours, running the gamut between Black and Apricot, as well as the complete set of recessives, dilutes, etc. Once you understand the genetic pattern for one species colour, you likewise have it for the other. The only real trick is in correct colour identification.
Contrary to contemporary belief, background quill colour is of little use in colour identification. Whether the quill is white or cream-coloured is generally nothing more than a subjective call. Instead, I have developed a system employing 5 different physical markers. They are: