There are four genera of skunks, each of which includes several species. The vast majority of skunks in every species are black or brown with white markings. However, now and then a skunk is born with far more white fur than usual. Domestic skunk breeders capitalize on these anomalies. Through selective breeding, they can produce pure white skunks as well as a range of other fur colors such as brown, gray, cream and apricot.
Striped skunks are the most common species in North America and the preferred choice of many domestic skunk breeders. Consequently, striped skunks are the species most likely to produce one that's all white. The skunks are bred as pets, and people looking to adopt a skunk are generally attracted to exotic shades of fur. It is very rare to find an all-white skunk not bred in captivity.
The hog-nosed skunk gets its name from its long, hairless snout. The normal fur pattern for this species is a completely white back and tail with a black belly and legs. Although these skunks are not entirely white, the black portion is not very noticeable if the skunk is hiding in vegetation. Someone glancing at a hog-nosed skunk in the wild could easily believe they had seen a white skunk.
A tiny percentage of wild skunks are albino. This occurs when a skunk is genetically incapable of producing melanin, the pigment that colors the body. The red eyes are the distinguishing characteristic between albino skunks and other skunks with white fur. Other skunks, regardless of fur color, have dark brown or black eyes.
Blond and Lavender Skunks
Most skunks have a variegated fur pattern of spots or stripes. A blond skunk is a light-colored skunk that still has visible patterns in its fur. Some portions of the fur are creamy white and other portions are bright white. A skunk will very rarely have fur that is white with a slight purplish hue. This is a lavender skunk.