SHIMANTO, Kochi -- There is a stag beetle on display at an insect center here that gives new meaning to the term "along gender lines." That is, the left side of the bug's body is male, and the right side is female.
The beetle at the Shimantogawa Gakuyukan insect center in this southwestern Japan city is a "gynandromorph," an organism with both male and female characteristics, and they are said to appear in nature at a rate of just one in 40,000.
The bug is a moseri golden stag beetle, native to Malaysia and other Southeast Asian countries. This specimen, however, was raised by Moriguchi, Osaka Prefecture resident Yu Yokota, a member of the public interest incorporated association that runs the insect center.
"I would like to communicate to people how important the facility is via the stag beetle," Yokota commented.
Besides the beetle, the center has 79 confirmed varieties of dragonfly -- the most of any such facility in Japan. The gynandromorphic stag beetle will be on display until Sept. 29.