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Image typeJPEG
Gynandromorph, Cymothoe caenis (JPEG)

Gynandromorph, Cymothoe caenis (JPEG)

Gynandromorphs are particularly spectacular when the males and females of a species are dimorphic (i.e differ markedly in appearance from one another). Here we have a rare (albeit well-worn) bilateral gynandromorph of Cymothoe caenis - left side male, right side female. Torben B. Larsen, the pre-eminent expert on African butterflies, has kindly provided me with the following interesting information about this phenomenon in Cymothoe butterflies:

"It is a rather strange thing that Cymothoe seem more prone to sexual aberrations than nearly anything else – the African Butterfly Research Institute has a large number of perfect bilaterals and several boxes of various intersexes. There are so many that it is useful in matching males and females with geographical variation and difficult taxonomy".

This specimen is from Mbale, Central African Republic. Wingspan = 58mm.

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