Out of all the unusual creatures that call Australia home, echidnas are one of the most bizarre – covered in spines, laying eggs, and exploring the world with their long toothless snouts. The rare, stark-white echidna found recently in Tasmania, then, is among the strangest of the strange!


Photographer Rosalind Wharton was strolling through Freycinet National Park in Coles Bay when she and her partner spotted the ostentatious monotreme. “He stands out like a sore thumb,” she told ABC Radio, “quite white on the dark background.”

Like most albino creatures, this echidna would likely have a hard time avoiding detection in the wild. From its fur to its pointy spines, it’s a brilliant white colour, with a pink snout and blue eyes.

Albino echidnas are rare, but not unheard of. Several years ago, an orphaned white echidna was rescued and re-homed at Symbio Wildlife Park, where he was named ‘Leo’ and has been known to hang around with a similarly rare white kookaburra.

Don’t confuse albino echidnas with the blonde echidnas of Flinders Island, though! Blonde echidnas are known for their light-coloured hair and spines, but they still retain pigmentation that echidnas like Leo do not. Blonde echidnas tend to still have dark noses and eyes, for example.

Australia is no stranger to unusually pale creatures. Migaloo the famous white humpback whale has been known to frequent the waters down under, while the mainland has housed everything from an albino kangaroo to a tiny “snow white” baby sea turtle.



Header image: Gemma Anne/Flickr