Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0022090, Sun, 16 Oct 2011 02:54:43 -0200

Re: SIGHTING: VN and Gynandromorphs
Darryl Schade : "tumbled across this article and image with VN ref. www.livescience.com/14210-gynandromorphs-dual-sex-disorder-strange-birds-butterflies-gallery.html"

JM: A fascinating collection of gynandromorphs and the equally informative item on "a literary bug"*. The photographs reminded me of the alchemical depictions of Plato's androgyne. The blend of Van and Ada is doubtlessly of a different kind but their fusion still suggests a platonic ideal.
btw: there was an interesting polymorphous sentence about a leopard lacewing at Reiman Gardens,when they informed that they'd imported a crowd of pupae to populate the butterfly wing.**
*A Literary Bug: Credit: Museum of Comparative Zoology, ©President & Fellows Harvard College, photo by Mark Sloan for Rarest of the Rare.
The author Vladimir Nabokov was an unofficial curator of Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) for Harvard's research collection, and, in his autobiography, he recounts losing a prized gynandromorph as a child when his governess sat on his collection: ". A precious gynandromorph, left side male, right side female, whose abdomen could not be traced and whose wings had come off, was lost forever: one might re-attach the wings, but one could not prove that all four belong to that headless thorax on its bent pin." Shown above is an unrelated gynandromorph blue morpho butterfly featured in "The Rarest of the Rare: Stories Behind the Treasures at the Harvard Museum of Natural History" (Harper-collins Publishers, 2004).
** - One in 100,000+Credit: Nathan Brockman, Reiman GardensIn almost nine years, Reiman Gardens has received about 163,116 pupae to populate its butterfly wing. But this leopard lacewing is the only gynandromorph butterfly to ever emerge. Gynandromorphs likely go unnoticed in species in which males and females look alike, so it is difficult to estimate how frequently they occur.

Search archive with Google:

Contact the Editors: mailto:nabokv-l@utk.edu,nabokv-l@holycross.edu
Visit Zembla: http://www.libraries.psu.edu/nabokov/zembla.htm
View Nabokv-L policies: http://web.utk.edu/~sblackwe/EDNote.htm
Visit "Nabokov Online Journal:" http://www.nabokovonline.com

Manage subscription options: http://listserv.ucsb.edu/