Alternate Title

Oculocutaneous Albinism in a Finetooth Shark, Carcharhinus isodon, from Mobile Bay, Alabama


Albinism has been documented in numerous species of teleosts (Dawson, 1964, 1966, 1971; Dawson and Heal, 1971). However, published accounts of oculocutaneous albino elasmobranches are relatively rare. Oculocutaneous albinism is a deficiency of the melanocyte system, resulting in a lack of skin pigment and pink eyes. Coad and Gilhen (2002) reviewed the literature and found published reports of 24 cases of albinism in 20 species with only eight of those being oculocutaneous albinos, 12 being piebaldistic (partial albinos), and 4 not clearly defined. Coloration in piebaldistic specimens includes partially white dorsal or ventral surfaces, lack of diagnostic markings (such as ocellae), or leucistic (yellow) coloration.