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Author Topic: Half male, half female butterfly steals the show at Natural History Museum  (Read 1882 times)

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Offline Spookie MonsterTopic starter

Half male, half female butterfly steals the show at Natural History Museum

A stunning butterfly that emerged from its chrysalis as male on one side, female on the other, has astounded curators at the Natural History Museum in London.

Stunning indeed.  Enjoy!


Organize the breeze...

Offline Darkling Muse

Wow that is stunning!

...and completely fascinating, in the gender debate it helps put pay to the 'evolving to further the species' side of things..

Online Oniya

I'm not sure why they were so stunned.  I'd seen pictures of these in my mother's Genetics book (and she's been married to my dad for 55 years).  Gynandromorphs aren't that unusual in butterflies, and a quick image search on Google brings up numerous examples.  (Bilateral means that each half is wholly male or wholly female.  You can also find 'mosaic gynandromorphs'.)

Now, if they'd had something like this critter in this article, I could see the excitement.

Offline Darkling Muse

But but but....

*Girlie squeal*

They're just so pretty!!

Online Oniya

I like the half-blue/half-orange ones myself.

Offline Darkling Muse

Ah like this one you mean? Its really bright! Quite astounding combination of colour there really...

though ...I think I like this one best... its all metaphorical :)

Offline Spookie MonsterTopic starter

Thanks for the replies, everyone!  And thanks, too, for those beautiful photos; more would certainly be welcome.  Oh, and that cardinal is really cool, Oniya!

Good question about why the curators were "astounded," incidentally.  My own impression wasn't that the curators were astounded by the notion of gynandromorphic butterflies, however, but rather by the birth of this particular butterfly during the exhibition itself.  Gynandromorphism might indeed not be unusual in butterflies -- I myself have no idea how frequent it is -- but the manager of the exhibition "has seen only two other gynandromorphs in his career," and this presumably includes the gynandromorphic moth that was born at the museum in 2008.  So I can imagine how the birth of a gynandromorphic butterfly during the exhibition would prove a pleasant surprise for the curators and a boost for the exhibition itself.

Thanks again!


Really quite paradise...