A BILATERAL gynandromorph of the Poplar Hawkmoth (Laothoe populi), the left side being all female, and the right, with its thicker
antenna and foreleg, slightly darker wing pattern and the single clasper at the tip of the abdomen, being all male. A "seam" marking
the female-male divide can be seen running down the entire length of the body.
This specimen was one of several that were bred by James Wright of Newark, Nottinghamshire, UK, who has very kindly
provided some interesting information about it:
"The story of how I came by the gynandromorphs began in 1996 when I acquired a wild female that produced a large quantity of ova.
These in turn pruduced a 100 plus moths the following season. I randomly selected about 30 or 40 moths for my own collection and
for sale, the rest I released. The specimens I saved I put in the freezer, and set at a later date. When I eventually got around to
setting them I dicovered 6 gynandromorphs, 4 bilateral and 2 indistinct. In the bilaterals 2 were ‘female left - male right', the other
3 were ‘male left - female right’. The 2 indistinct specimens had male antennae on the left and female on the right. I have often
wondered how many more gynandromorphs were amongst those that I released. I know gynandromorphs occur more commonly
in Poplar Hawks than other species, but to get this amount from one batch must be quite unique. I am just an amateur collector,
and I don't have a great deal of knowledge about genetics, but I would be interested to know why the offspring of one moth
would produce so many gynandromorphs".
IF ANYONE OUT THERE HAS THE ANSWER TO JAME'S QUERY, THEN PLEASE CONTACT HIM: email@example.com ...........THANK YOU!!!
Image © Norman Day. Please do not reproduce without permission.
(High quality original available - please enquire).