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Meet The Half-Male, Half-Female Mormon Butterfly That’s Taking London By Storm

Forget trans goats and female horses with male testicles. The hottest intersexual animal in London’s Natural History Museum is the Great Mormon Butterfly—its left half is male and its right half is female with male and female reproductive organs fused right down the middle.

The Guardian explains:

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.

“It’s an amazing butterfly. The split is purely bilateral – even the colour of one side of its body is slightly different,” said Luke Brown, manager of [the museum’s Sensational Butterflies exhibit]. “It has half-male, half-female sexual organs welded together. So they don’t work, it is infertile.”

Insects can be born gynandromorphs – with male and female cells – when sex chromosomes fail properly to separate when the fertilised egg divides. Around one in ten thousand butterflies is a gynandromorph. Many dual-sex butterflies probably go unnoticed, because the males and females look alike.

Brown, who has seen only two other gynandromorphs in his career, said the butterfly was feeding and flying well, and was expected to have a normal life expectancy of around one month. The specimen will become part of the museum’s lepidoptera collection.

In 2008, a half-male, half-female moth emerged at the museum. The insect had one bright yellow wing and another that looked brown and dusty. Crabs and lobsters can also be gynandromorphs.

Of course, other intersex animals exist as well (including humans). Drawing attention to these other creatures help us appreciate and understand human intersexuality as well.

On:           Jul 13, 2011
Tagged: , , , ,
    • paul f

      This can not be allowed! Why this perverted butterfly will be recruiting children who go to the museum. There must be laws passed to stop this at once. It’s just one more step on the slippery slope to moth/butterfly marrage. The LSD church must reign this in now or other Mormans will want to be split down the middle into M/F halves. Sign a petition! Form a commitee! Call Mr. Boner so he can cry me a river about this perversion. Someone quick get a spoon to get my tongue out of my cheek, my sarcastic button is stuck again!

      Jul 13, 2011 at 1:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Duncan Campbell

      Dudes: proofread much? Your first paragraph needs some serious work.

      Jul 13, 2011 at 1:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • greenmusic23f

      @paul f: You rock!

      Jul 13, 2011 at 9:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 12345deviant

      @paul f: Allelluia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PRAISE Jesus, we can even enroll it in a clinic to help it get over its intersexuallity.

      Jul 14, 2011 at 2:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jame

      This article is all well and good but these guys got an exclusive interview with the butterfly: http://www.themortonreport.com/discoveries/cool-science/hermaphrodite-butterfly-hatches-in-london-museum-plans-to-take-up-acting/

      Jul 18, 2011 at 11:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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