What Is an Albino Bristlenose Pleco?

An albino bristlenose pleco is a small South American fish with fleshy bristles around its head and lips and very pale coloration due to a lack of melanin. Most bristlenose plecos are mottled brown and have dark eyes.

Plecos are a type of catfish. The males have an especially large number of fleshy growths on their heads, giving them a bushy appearance. All bristlenose plecos belong to the same genus, Ancistrus; however, species tend to look very similar and cannot be distinguished based on the number or size of bristles as was previously believed. Albino bristlenose plecos are a special breed, not a species. The pigment melanin is what gives plecos their dark coloration. Albino plecos are unable to produce melanin due to their genes, so every part of their body that utilizes melanin, including their eyes, is affected by lack of pigmentation. The lack of pigment gives albino pleco's eyes a red appearance.