A rare butterfly named ‘Lexias Pardalis’ will be put on display by Drexel University at its Academy of Natural Sciences. The butterfly is half male and half female and visitors can get a look of this rare species from January 17 to February 16. Specialists say that the butterfly is a tenant of the rainforests of Southeast Asia.
In October, Chris Johnson, a volunteer at a butterfly display at Drexel University in California and a retired engineer, initially found this unusual feature of the specie. He discovered it when he was eliminating butterflies from the chamber where they first appear from their chrysalises, or the stage amid which it transforms into an adult. The butterfly then uncovered its traits by spreading the wings, which demonstrated its two genders.
Its two right wings were of female of its species – big and tan with yellow and white spots. In the mean time, its two left wings donned a darker green, blue and purple shading, a prototype of males.
“It simply gave me goosebumps, it was surprising, something I never anticipated to see,” Johnson said.
This rare condition is known as bilateral gynandromorphy. It happens when there’s an issue amid cell division when an insect structures after an egg is fertilized, ensuing in female chromosomes in one daughter cell and male in the other.
This condition is regularly seen in butterflies and feathered creatures, whose genders have altogether different colorations. They have diverse marking and color patterns for males and females.
Lepidopterist and entomology collection supervisor Jason Weintraub of the university said its the first butterfly gynandromorph he’s seen there.
“It’s thrilling to see because you read about it, and you see specimens in collections, yet when you really see one alive with your eyes, its kind of stunning,” Weintraub included.