This butterfly is half male and half female

The butterfly shown has a completely unique pattern of colours because of a special trait – it has two different sexes. It looks like it was two butterflies cut down the middle and sewn together: One half of its wings are orange from male DNA, while the other half are pale yellow, created by cells with female DNA. You can see in the image below that male leopard lacewing butterflies have orange wings with black and white bands at the tips (right), and females are a pale yellow with those same black and white bands (left):

The scientific name for this phenomenon is gynandromorphism. Animals that are gynandromorphs are made up of both male and female cells, when usually, an animal is made up of all female cells or all male cells. It’s hard for researchers to estimate how frequent gynandromorphs are in the wild because they can be hard to identify, since they aren’t all as clearly male-female as the butterfly above. These characteristics don’t just appear as half-and-half butterflies either, the male and female cells can also swirl together to form a ‘mosaic’ pattern that mixes the colours together, like in this swallowtail butterfly, in which you can see the yellow male cells and blue female cells. Source: This butterfly is half male and half female

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