Fluttering both ways

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

The peculiar nature of the freshly hatched great mormon butterfly was spotted when staff noticed a striking difference between its wing colourings and other features.

The insect, which has a 10cm wingspan, is almost black on its male side, but the female side is much paler, with clearly visible flecks of blue, red and tortoiseshell.

A closer inspection revealed the insect to have one antenna longer than the other, a single male clasp on its abdomen, and male and female reproductive organs that had fused down the middle.

The butterfly hatched two weeks ago during the Sensational Butterflies exhibition that runs at the museum until September.

source : http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/jul/12/half-male-half-female-butterfly





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