30 Jun
Dragonfly gynandromorphs

Dragonfly gynandromorphs

Gynandromorphism is a rare condition that causes an organism to develop both male and female characteristics. This is most conspicuous when the gynandromorphism is bilateral- the organism has male characteristics on one side of its body and female characteristics on the other. However, this is not always the case and the characteristics can be more jumbled.

A recent article in the Journal of Threatened Taxa examines the occurrence of gynandromorphism in dragonflies; it notes that while there have been few sightings the condition has been reported in a number of Odonata families.

Read the full article here

The article goes on to report a recent gynandromorph that was sighted last year in the Kole wetlands of India. The individual, a Scarlet Skimmer (Crocothemis servilia), appeared mostly female with bilateral gynandromorphism on the thorax.

As gynandromorph dragonflies are so rare there has been little opportunity to study them, and researchers are keen to explore how environmental factors might influence their occurrence. Dragonfly watchers across the globe should keep their eyes peeled- you never know when a gynandromorph might show up!



Male Scarlet Skimmer image by budak, flickr