Sunday, 4 July 2010

Bilateral gynandromorphism at Southwater

Silver-washed Fritillary, Argynnis paphia, bilateral gynandromorph
A trip to Southwater Woods to find some aberrant forms of  Silver-washed Fritillary and White Admiral gave me more than I had hoped for. There were twenty or more people along the majestic Purple Emperor’s path with necks craned towards the tree tops where the Emperors were conducting Imperial business. 
At the master tree there were three at one time tumbling around together and usually one roosting at the very top.
One roosted halfway down on the adjacent ash to enable a reasonable shot. None were seen on the path by anyone in contrast to last Wednesday and Friday which were much hotter. Today was cloudy and much cooler.
 Meadow Browns opened their wings frequently while resting, which is unusual.
I found an aberrant form of White Admiral (ab. semi-nigrina) where the white pattern is blurred.
The following two are females
A pair of  Silver-washed Fritillaries coupled and then rested in a tree above us.
Finally an unusual Silver-washed Fritillary appeared nectaring on the brambles (top photo and above). Neil Hulme advised that it is a bilateral gynandromorph, meaning one side is in the female form and the other side is in the male form. Apparently this is very rare. In  the photo above the male wing is facing.

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