Albino roaches is a specie of cockroaches that we see very rarely. If you are shocked after seeing a white cockroach and asking yourself, “how can be a cockroach of white color?
Then you should know the fact that Albino roaches are not white color cockroaches, but due to lack of pigmentation, their appearance has turned into a white or pale color.
The Albino roach’s species has come into existence after a rare genetic mutation in cockroaches during molting. Scientists use them in scientific experiments due to their lack of pigmentation.
They are not white cockroaches but a completely different specie with their unique characteristics. They rarely appear in an open environment because they are more sensitive to light and have a shorter lifespan than their non-albino counterparts.
In this article, you’ll learn shocking facts about Albino roaches, including how cockroaches of general specie turn into Albino roaches.
What is molting?
Roaches are arthropods which means their body is boneless. So, they need an outer body known as exoskeleton to support their legs and wings.
The exoskeleton develops during the process of molting before it gets hardened. Normally, cockroaches pass through 7-8 phases of molting till they adopt their final exoskeleton.
Does Albino Cockroach really exist?
Before we dig deep into the list of shocking facts about albino roaches, let’s first confirm about their actual existence.
In research facts, albino cockroaches are a type of cockroach with a white appearance due to lack of pigmentation that gives most cockroaches their characteristic dark color.
This accidental transformation happened as a result of a genetic mutation due to the absence of the enzyme which is responsible for producing melanin. This pigment gives most insects their color.
That’s why albino cockroaches are typically white or very pale.
Despite their unusual appearance, scientists still count albino cockroaches in the list of pests. Like other cockroaches, they can reproduce and spread disease like their darker-colored counterparts.
Why are some roaches albino?
Albino cockroaches are rare, and their exciting variation came into existence after an accidental transformation during molting.
When cockroaches develop their exoskeleton during molting, a genetic mutation occurs due to a lack of pigmentation in the albino roaches, resulting in a ghostly white appearance.
That genetic mutation disrupts the production of melanin, which gives roaches their characteristic color. This mutation happens very rarely; that’s why albino roaches exist in only a small percentage as compared to common cockroaches.
Albino roaches are very sensitive and have to fight against several challenges to complete their life span.
Because of their white appearance, they are not able to blend with their surroundings, and their predators can easily find them.
Due to the absence of enough melanin, they are susceptible to the outer environment and temperature and can hardly survive the heat.
What kind of cockroach is white?
White cockroach species does not exist in nature. A common type of cockroaches that we generally see in our junkyard is black or dark brown in color.
An interesting fact is all species of cockroaches are initially born with white color. They gain their dark brown or black color during molting due to the presence of melanin.
In the case of albino cockroaches, a genetic mutation stops production of melanin in their body due to lack of pigmentation which results in the white or pale color exoskeleton.
Except for albino roaches, another specie of cockroaches has a glossy white appearance also called German roaches.
Scientists considered these white roaches a member of the pests’ family and named them albino roaches for their unique identification.
Hence, only albino roaches and German roaches are named white roaches due to their white appearance. Except for them, there is no existence of white cockroaches.
White roach meaning
At first glance, white roaches, also known as albino roaches, can be frightening or surprising, but they are not a cause of concern.
Albino roaches are a fascinating, unique variation of common cockroaches and typically hide in high humidity and low light areas such as caves and basements.
Despite their rare appearance, they are not considered harmful pests for humans. Their presence in your basement does not spread disease or threaten human health compared to common household cockroaches.
Even some people treat them as exotic pets due to their unique appearance. They feed on decaying organic matter to survive and fulfill their needs for food and water.
If you are worried about their infestation in your living place, the best practice is to call a professional exterminator for assistance.
What does an albino cockroach do?
Albino roaches are abnormal specie and are more sensitive pests than normal pests whose bodies produce melanin, which assist them in surviving the difficulties of living.
Due to the absence of melanin, white roaches developed a few different characteristics that support them in staying alive in challenging situations. Still, as a whole, their way of living is similar to their counterparts.
Like other cockroaches, albinos are nocturnal and tend to hide in dark, damp places during the day. They are scavengers and feed on various organic materials, including plant, animal matter, and other insects.
Despite their abnormality, they are considered as pests, and they play a vital role in maintaining a balance in the ecosystem.
As they belong to scavengers, they help break down organic matter and recycle nutrients into the soil.
Due to their white color, they are more visible to predators and a valuable food source for birds and small mammals.
How rare is an albino cockroach?
Common species of cockroaches that we see crawling in daily life have dark brown or black appearance and they are present in abundance.
Alongside them, an abnormal form of cockroaches called albino roaches came into existence after an accidental genetic mutation which is very rare.
This genetic mutation causes a lack of pigmentation in these specific roaches which stops the production of melanin during the molting phase. As a result, these few cockroaches become adults with white color exoskeleton.
Their white appearance makes their presence more visible to their predators and put them at high risk of being killed.
Like other cockroaches they can also reproduce but due to less population of white roaches, there are very few chances that both albino roaches meet and grow their generation.
Despite their rarity, first-time white roaches were reported in 2016 at a subway station in New York and a second time in 2018 at a residential home in Australia.
Albino cockroach worth
As albino roaches belong to the dirty cockroach’s family, so they may not seem very interesting, but their appearance is unique and attractive.
If lack of pigmentation and absence of melanin make albino roaches’ life cycle challenging, on the other side, it also makes their appearance fascinating for the viewers.
Alongside attractive exoskeletons, albino cockroaches have some unique characteristics compared to regular cockroaches, which increase their worth.
Despite many survival challenges, albino cockroaches have some advantages over regular cockroaches. For example, they are less likely to be spotted by humans, which can be beneficial for survival in urban environments.
Additionally, their unique appearance includes them in the list of exotic pets and makes them popular among collectors and enthusiasts.
Due to their unique genes, albino cockroaches are also used for research purposes in the scientific community. Scientists often conduct different research and experiments on them to study their physiological processes.
What does it mean if you see a white roach?
Seeing a white roach can be a surprising and upsetting sight for most people because they have always seen brown or black color roaches.
But what does it mean if you see a white roach?
First, it’s important to note that all white color cockroaches are not the same—some white roaches came into existence after a lack of pigmentation due to a genetic mutation.
However, there is also a particular type of cockroach called the German cockroach, which is famous as the white cockroach due to its glossy or powdery appearance. Unlike albino roaches, they are known for their ability to reproduce quickly and can infest homes and buildings in large numbers.
Hence, when you sight a white color cockroach, before doing panic, it is essential to differentiate between albino roaches and German roaches.
If they are albino cockroaches, then it is not a big concern to worry about but if it’s German roaches, then instantly take action to eliminate them before they grow out of control.
Are albino roaches poisonous?
If some enthusiasts consider the unique appearance of albino roaches fascinating, ordinary people are scared of their white color and believe them poisonous.
Fortunately, white roaches are not harmful or dangerous for humans. These pests couldn’t turn into brown or black color like their counterpart due to lack of pigmentation. After a genetic mutation, they adopted white bodies and red eyes.
It is scientifically approved that albino roaches do not have venom or toxic substances in their bodies, and their bite or sting does not pose any danger to humans.
Like common cockroaches, they may carry bacteria on their bodies, but this is not enough to cause illness. That’s why albino roaches are not susceptible to disease or illness like other pigmented cockroaches.
How long do roaches stay white?
The life cycle of white roaches is brutal and short compared to common brown or black skin cockroaches. The reason is their white color.
Due to a lack of pigmentation, their white color makes them more susceptible to predators and environmental stresses. They also have a more challenging time camouflaging and hiding, making it difficult for them to find food and shelter.
Because of their struggling life cycle, either they died of intense habitat or were easily killed by a predator.
Few lucky white roaches can live for several months to a year, depending on factors such as access to food and water, temperature, and overall health.
Like all roaches, they can reproduce rapidly and grow their numbers if left unchecked.
With the blessings of luck, white roaches can live up to 1-2 years. After 6-8 weeks, immature cockroaches, known as nymphs, emerge from the case with a white appearance like all common cockroaches.
Then nymphs pass through 7-8 phases of molting during almost 1 year before they turn an adult cockroach.
Shocking facts about albino roaches
- Albinos make up less than 1% of the total roach population.
- They are all white, as opposed to the ordinary roaches’ black brown.
- Albino roaches are especially sensitive to intense light since they lack color.
- They live less time than other roaches because their white color makes them more visible to predators and environmental factors.
- Studying albino roaches might teach scientists a lot about how light affects insect development and behavior.
- Because of their distinctive and alluring appearance, they are treated as exotic pets by some enthusiasts.
- Because certain cultures view albino roaches as a good omen, they are frequently kept as pets or employed in folk medicine.
- Albino roaches are rare, yet they are not in danger of going extinct because they are still widespread around the planet.
- Contrary to the majority of other roach species, albino cockroaches are not harmful to people’s health.
- Due to their ghostly white coloring, albino roaches are also referred to as “ghost roaches” or “white roaches.”
It is very evident that no species of white cockroach exists outside of albino and German varieties. They are defined by their white complexion. Why is that? because it is due to a lack of melanin, originating from a genetic mutation.
Their white appearance makes them more visually appealing to predators. Albino roaches are also more vulnerable to extreme climatic conditions due to the absence of melanin. That’s why you cannot see them in open regions. They need to hide to defend themselves against enemies.
On the other hand, their uncommon look makes them a hot commodity among pet lovers and collectors.
They’ve learned to outrun predators and ride out storms by being swift and adaptable.
Overall, albino roaches are an intriguing and a rare species that are worth researching for anyone interested in exotic pets.
Featured image credit: Balaram Mahalder, commons.wikimedia.org | licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.