The Difference Between Albino and Leucistic Banner

What’s the difference between albino mushrooms and leucistic mushrooms?

There has been some confusion within the mycology community about the difference between leucistic and albino mushrooms. In this article, we will break down the differences between the two and provide examples of each.

Albino Characteristics

 Albinos are typically defined as organisms that exhibit deficient pigmentation.  In mycology, albino mushrooms are completely lacking pigmentation which results in a white cap and clear, colorless spores. While some albino cubensis strains, like APE, can be observed with blue tinted caps, that is not related to pigmentation and is instead caused by the bluing reaction of Psilocybin within the mushroom’s flesh. 

Albino Mushroom Examples

Some examples of albino mushrooms include:

Albino Penis Envy (APE)

APE Mushrooms

Avery’s Albino

Avery's Albinos

True Albino Tex PE6

True Albino TEX PE6

True Albino Melmac (TAM)

Shakti

Leucistic Characteristics

Leucistic, which is pronounced \\luːˈkɪstɪk\\, is an adjective commonly used to describe animals that have reduced pigmentation in their skin but normal colored eyes. In mycology, leucistic mushrooms are mushrooms that lack pigment in the caps, making them appear white or off-white while still producing pigmented spores. Many leucistic strains have a faint yellow tint which is due to the partial pigmentation loss.  

Leucistic Mushroom Examples

Some examples of leucistic mushrooms include:

Leucistic Burma

Leucistic Burma

Leucistic Ecuador

Leucistic Ecuador Mushrooms

Leucistic Golden Teacher

LGT

Leucistic JMF

Leucistic JMF

Pigmentation Loss

Many common cubensis strains that start out pigmented can produce albino or leucistic fruits. For example, Tosohatchee was originally found as a pigmented fruit but some researchers have observed Tosohatchee phenos that are leucistic. Similarly, Shakti is an albino variation of the pigmented Malabar cubensis strain.

Strain Misnomers

Some common mushroom strains have been misleadingly labeled as albino or white when in fact they are actually leucistic. Because of the overuse of the terms albino and white to describe leucistic strains, members of the community have begun to call real albino mushrooms “true albinos” such as True Albino Teacher (TAT) or True Albino Melmac (TAM)

True Albino Teacher (TAT) “Jack Frost”

Jack Frost TAT

Conclusion

While the flesh of both albino and leucistic mushrooms appear white, the main difference is that leucistic mushrooms have colored spores while albino mushrooms have clear, colorless spores.

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