Leucistic Mallard – Anas platyrhychos



At one of the locations that I photograph at, there mute and mallards present along with other species of ducks and . I discovered what appears to be a partially on the pond. What what became interesting, is that the mute swans started chasing this mallard, although they do not chase any of the other normal appearing mallards. And the swans did not stop chasing after the mallard until the mallard swam into the reeds where the swans could not locate the mallard, so they went about their business eating.

Chased by Swan
Duck Chased by Swan
Duck Chased by Swan
Duck Chased by Swan
Splash on lift off
Splash on lift off

Discussion of Leucistism from  Wikipedia: ”

Leucism (occasionally spelled leukism) is a general term for the phenotype resulting from defects in pigment cell differentiation and/or migration from the neural crest to skin, hair, or feathers during development. This results in either the entire surface (if all pigment cells fail to develop) or patches of body surface (if only a subset are defective) having a lack of cells capable of making pigment.

Since all pigment cell-types differentiate from the same multipotent precursor cell-type, leucism can cause the reduction in all types of pigment. This is in contrast to albinism, for which leucism is often mistaken. Albinism results in the reduction of melanin production only, though the melanocyte (or melanophore) is still present. Thus in species that have other pigment cell-types, for example xanthophores, albinos are not entirely white, but instead display a pale yellow colour.

More common than a complete absence of pigment cells is localized or incomplete hypopigmentation, resulting in irregular patches of white on an animal that otherwise has normal colouring and patterning.

A further difference between albinism and leucism is in eye colour. Due to the lack of melanin production in both the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) and iris, albinos typically have red eyes due to the underlying blood vessels showing through. In contrast, most leucistic animals have normally coloured eyes. This is because the melanocytes of the RPE are not derived from the neural crest, instead an outpouching of the neural tube generates the optic cup which, in turn, forms the retina. As these cells are from an independent developmental origin, they are typically unaffected by the genetic cause of leucism.

Myer Bornstein

I photograph the natural beauty of Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island and other locations Country and elsewhere. I also publish a blog about the area and other interesting vistas and locations.

Myer Bornstein

Myer Bornstein –Photo Bee 1 has been involved in photography for many years and studied photography at the New York Inst. of Photography. He is now retired and photographs the natural beauty of Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island and other locations in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Costa Rica. He also publishes a blog about his works natural history and includes, book and equipment reviews. You can view my blog at http://photobee1.blogspot.com/ Myer Bornstein has won 1st Place in the South Shore Massachusetts Daniel Webster Photo Contest, Best of Show in the Friends of the National Wildlife Refuges of Rhode Island 2011 Photo Contest, and was one of the twenty-four finalists in the 2011 Massachusetts Audubon Photo Contest. He received one of three Judges' Choice prizes in the "Share the View" International Nature Photography contest in 2011 plus had second picture as one of the featured 250 runner ups. He also placed another photograph in the 2012 contest. He was awarded first place in the “Chasing the Light” Juried competition, Flights of Fancy. He’s has also been published both on line and in Nature Magazines and in Books. Recently he had the honor of having the first "50" point photograph in the Pro-Am tournament conducted by The Images for Conservation Fund in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. He teaches photography classes and instructs about Lightroom 4. He also is a volunteer naturalist and photographer for Allen Pond Massachusetts Audubon Sanctuary located in Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

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