This insect boasts both genders on each side of its body, making it half male, half female, new research shows.
Later identified as a Common Archduke butterfly (Lexias pardalis) - better known as the “brush-footed” butterfly - its unusual features were first realized by Chris Johnson, a volunteer at a butterfly exhibit at Drexel University.
Its two right wings were typical of the female of its species - large and brown with yellow and white spots. Meanwhile, its two left wings sported a darker green, blue and purple coloring, a pattern archetypal of males.
The strange sight is an example of a rare condition called gynandromorphy, which means an organism has physical characteristics of both males and females, resulting from a genetic mutation. It can either result in bilateral symmetry, as in this case with two sides distinctively male and female, or the gynandromorphy can be mosaic, where the two sexes aren’t defined as clearly.