A bristlenose pleco is mostly brown, green, or gray. These fish also typically have white or yellow markings all over their bodies.
Most bristlenose plecos have uneven coloring; some may have lighter or darker colors on certain parts of their bodies. Additionally, a bristlenose pleco typically has a lighter-colored abdomen and a darker back, except for albino bristlenose plecos, which are mostly white all over.
However, its coloring is not what makes a bristlenose pleco unique. As its name suggests, a bristlenose pleco has bristles or bushy appendages that sprout from its snouts. These bristles are more prominent in male bristlenose plecos, though females also have them.