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What animals have white and black fur?

What animals have white and black fur?

There are several animal species that exhibit a coat color pattern of both black and white fur. This two-tone coat provides camouflage, communication, and temperature regulation benefits for the animals that sport this distinctive look.

Mammals with Black and White Fur

A number of mammalian species display black and white fur patterns. Some of the most well-known examples include:

  • Pandas – Giant pandas have thick white fur with black fur on their ears, eye patches, muzzles, legs and shoulders. The contrasting coloration may help pandas blend into their bamboo forest habitat.
  • Skunks – Striped skunks feature a pattern of mostly black fur with a prominent white stripe down the center of their back. The bold coloring serves as a warning to predators.
  • Badgers – Badgers have black and white facial markings and a grizzled mix of black, white and gray fur on their body. Their fur camouflages them on open ground.
  • Raccoons – Raccoons have thick, grey-black fur that is marked by black patches around their eyes and alternating rings on their tail. Their face often has white fur.
  • Zebras – Zebras are black and white striped all over their body. Their stripes form unique patterns that distinguish each individual.

Other mammals with some black and white patterning or spotting in their fur include Dalmatian dogs, giant pandas, pigs, tapirs, mongooses and various shrew species.

Birds with Black and White Plumage

Many bird species also exhibit bold black and white feather patterns. Some birds with predominantly black and white plumage include:

  • Penguins – All penguin species have a black back and white front. The countershading helps camouflage them from above and below.
  • Puffins – These seabirds have black feathers on their back and wings contrasted by white plumage on their front and face.
  • Magpie – Magpies have iridescent black feathers and areas of white including patches on their wings, tail and body.
  • Mockingbirds – Mockingbirds are grayish birds with white patches in their wings and tail and black patches on their tertiary flight feathers.
  • Kingfisher – Kingfishers have brightly colored plumage of turquoise and rich blue often separated by thick black and white bands.

Some other birds with black and white patterning include various blackbird species, swallows, shrikes, guans, stonechats and flycatchers.

Reptiles and Amphibians

There are a number of reptiles and amphibians that display some black and white patterning including:

  • Panda garter snake – As the name suggests, it has a black and white pattern similar to a panda bear.
  • Zebra-tailed lizard – This lizard has black and white bands on its tail resembling a zebra.
  • Plains garter snake – Some have yellow and black stripes, while others have white lines between black bars.
  • Black-and-white tegu – This lizard has alternating segments of black and white scales down its back.
  • Axolotls – Wild axolotls are brown-black on top and white below, giving them countershading for camouflage.

Insects with Black and White Patterns

Many insects display bold patterns of black and white coloration including:

  • Zebra longwing butterfly
  • Panda ant
  • Magpie moth
  • Skunk cabbage beetle
  • Striped cucumber beetle
  • Oriental hornet
  • Some ladybug species

The contrasting color pattern serves a defensive purpose, either as warning coloration or disruptive camouflage.

Fish Species

A number of fish have striking black and white patterns such as:

  • Panda garras – These small catfish have a pattern of black and white spots.
  • Panda platy – These small freshwater fish have black and white bands.
  • Panda loach – This bottom-dwelling fish has a broad black horizontal band on a white body.
  • Panda cory catfish – They have bold black and white markings on their face and body.
  • Two-tone goby – These small fish have a back half that is black and a front half that is white.

The bold color patterns likely help the fish blend into their surroundings and avoid predators.


In summary, many animal species across mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and fish exhibit striking black and white fur, feather and scale patterns. The contrasting coloration serves a variety of purposes including camouflage, communication, mimicry and temperature regulation. Some well-known black and white animals include giant pandas, skunks, zebras and penguins. Nature has produced many beautiful examples of black and white patterning in the animal kingdom.

Animal Type Description of Black and White Markings
Giant Panda Mammal Thick white fur with black ears, eye patches, legs and shoulders
Skunk Mammal Mostly black fur with prominent white stripe down back
Badger Mammal Black and white facial markings, mix of black, white and gray body fur
Zebra Mammal Black and white stripes cover entire body
Penguin Bird Black backs and wings, white front
Panda Garter Snake Reptile Black and white panda-like pattern
Zebra Longwing Butterfly Insect Black and white striped wings
Panda Garras Fish Black and white spotted pattern