Gynandromorph Butterflies

close up of a black butterfly with metallic dots on a yellow flower

When someone asks me what is the “rarest” butterfly ever flown in the Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing, I usually talk about the Leopard Lacewing (Cethosia cyane) gynandromorph we received back in May of 2008. Gynandromorphs—the term used for an organism exhibiting both male and female characteristics on the same individual—are truly rare and unique. Last month we received our second one, which was the Great Mormon (Papilio memnon). Both of our gynandromorph specimens will be on display inside the pupae emergence chamber through mid-May if you want to see them in person.

Photo caption: Great Mormon (Papilio memnon)