I might as well finish off yesterday's foray into white organisms, given that I have a list other potential pictures cluttering up my desk, and I didn't say anything about how or why animals or fungi or plants - or rather flowers - are white. When a surface (living or otherwise) absorbs some light wavelengths and reflects others, it is the reflected light we see and the wavelength of that light determines what colour we interpret the object as being. White is not a wavelength or colour, but the combination of all visible wavelengths; clouds or snow look white because they reflect virtually all light. (I hasten to say that I'm no physicist, and this is the simplified version!)
A white flower is very visible to pollinators, especially in dim light - many flowers which are pollinated by night flying moths or bats are white, though many other flowers use white to be conspicuous to daytime visitors. On the other hand animals don't necessarily want to be very visible. It is relevant that very few small animals are white; for instance quite a few larger non-passerine birds are, but almost no small passerines. One situation in which white is advantageous is against a white background, and we can easily think of white Arctic animals in particular, but I've spent little time in snowy places and can't offer pictures of these beautiful beasts.
Quite a few waterbirds are white underneath; these tend to be hunters, which don't want to be too obvious to small animals below them in water. Presumably they are harder to see from underneath against a glarey background than a dark object would be.
|Large fungi, Korup National Park, western Cameroon.|
|orchid Sobralia virginalis, Peruvian Amazonia.|
|Royal Spoonbill Platalea regia, Canberra.|
|Splendid Everlasting Daisies Rhodanthe chlorocephala splendida, Nallan Station, Western Australia.|
|Rough-barked Angophora Angophora floribunda, Araluen Valley, New South Wales.|
|Butterfly, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda.|
|Quilineja Luzuriaga polyphylla, Family Philesiaceae,|
a beautiful wet forest climber, Alerce Andino National Park, Chile.
|Red-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon rubricauda, Lord Howe Island.|
Watching these seemingly impossibly white birds flying off the Malabar Cliffs on the north coast
of Lord Howe is reason enough to go there!
|Lambswool Lachnostachys eriobotrya, Family Chloanthaceae, Kalarri National Park, Western Australia.|
|Carissa sp., Family Rubiaceae, central Cameroon.|
|Little Corellas Cacatua sanguinea, Bourke, New South Wales.|
And on that romantic note I'll leave you to wander off, wondering whitely...