24 August 2009
Word for the day: gynandromorph
What interested me today was the bottom photo of the ?chrysanthemum. Presuming it hasn't been artificially fiddled with, it apparently represents some type of accidental hybrid, or a defect of some coloration gene occurring during development. The photo was at Pixdaus without a link, and I haven't found the photo elsewhere using the TinEye reverse image search.
The mum photo reminded me of the "gynandromorph" phenomenon (half female/half male). It's well known (though still rare) in butterflies, especially where the male and females have different coloration patterns, as in the tiger swallowtail at the top. The phenomenon is also evident in the Chesapeake Bay crab in the next photo and the cardinal below that.
Addendum: Dr. Mieke found the link for the chrysanthemum, which is, indeed, a genetic mutation. In her comment is a link for how you can do this artificially, for fun.
Addendum #2: See the comments by anonymous re the relationship (or not) of gynandromorphs to hermaphrodites and chimeras.