The key difference between gynandromorph and hermaphrodite is that gynandromorph is an animal, especially an insect, a crustacean, or a bird, that is part male and part female. Meanwhile, a hermaphrodite is an organism that possesses sex organs or tissues belonging to both sexes.
Sexual reproduction is one of the two types of reproduction which causes genetic variation among organisms. Gynandromorph is an unusual sexual form seen in certain animals especially among insects, crustaceans, butterflies, moths, etc. These animals have both male and female reproductive organs. Most importantly, their bodies are bilaterally symmetrical and have both male and female parts and physical characteristics. Hermaphrodites are organisms that possess both male and female sexual organs. But physically they appear as a male or a female. Hermaphroditism is a normal condition that facilitates sexual reproduction.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Gynandromorph
3. What is Hermaphrodite
4. Similarities Between Gynandromorph and Hermaphrodite
5. Side by Side Comparison – Gynandromorph vs Hermaphrodite in Tabular Form
What is Gynandromorph?
Gymamdromorph is an organism that shows both male and female characteristics. The body of the organism has a male part and a female part. In simple words, gynandromorph is an animal that is part male and part female, and these two body parts can be distinguished physically. Gynamdromorphs are very rare in nature. These types of animals are especially seen in butterflies, moths, crustaceans such as lobsters and crabs, many species of bird and other insects. They do not occur in mammals. Gynandromorphs are developed due to a problem in cell division shortly after fertilization. When there is a problem in mitosis, sex chromosomes do not separate correctly, leading to the development of both male and female parts.
Gynandromorph bodies are separated into two large sections. In fact, they show bilateral symmetry; one part is male, and the other part is female. The blue crab is an example for gynandromorphs.
What is Hermaphrodite?
Hermaphrodite is an animal that possesses both male and female sexual organs. It may appear as a male or a female physically, but it has both types of sexual organs. But unlike gynandromorphy, it does not show both male and female physical characteristics. Since hermaphrodites have both types of sex organs, they are capable of producing both types of gametes. This ability enables sexual reproduction. Therefore, hermaphroditism is a normal condition, unlike gynandromorphism, which is an unusual sexual form. Most hermaphrodites exhibit self-fertilization
Majority of invertebrates, such as worms, bryozoans (moss animals), trematodes (flukes), snails, slugs, and barnacles, show hermaphroditism. Not only that, most flowering plants or angiosperms are hermaphrodites. They have flowers composed of both staminate and pistillate parts.
What are the Similarities Between Gynandromorph and Hermaphrodite?
- Gynandromorph and hermaphrodite are two different types of organisms that possess both male and female reproductive organs.
- Hence, they show sexual dimorphism.
- Both gynandromorphy and hermaphrodite carry out sexual reproduction.
What is the Difference Between Gynandromorph and Hermaphrodite?
Gynandromorph is an animal that’s half male and half female when splitting at the midline. Meanwhile, a hermaphrodite is an animal that appears as male or female but has both male and female reproductive organs. So, this is the key difference between gynandromorph and hermaphrodite.
Birds, crustaceans, insects, and butterflies show gynandromorphism. Whereas, the majority of invertebrates, such as worms, bryozoans (moss animals), trematodes (flukes), snails, slugs, and barnacles and most flowering plants, show hermaphroditism. Therefore, we can consider this as another difference between gynandromorph and hermaphrodite. Moreover, gynandromorphs do not occur in mammals. But, hermaphroditism can occur in humans and other mammals. Thus, this is also a difference between gynandromorph and hermaphrodite.
Summary – Gynandromorph vs Hermaphrodite
Summarizing the difference between gynandromorph and hermaphrodite, gynandromorph is an animal composed of a male part and a female part. Therefore, gynandromorphs show both male and female physical characteristics. But, gynandromorphism is a rare thing in nature, and it is an unusual sexual form. Similar to gynandromorph, hermaphrodite is an organism who possesses both male and female sexual organs. But physically, they appear as a male or a female. It is a normal condition that enhances sexual reproduction. Compared to gynandromorphism, hermaphroditism is common and seen in most angiosperms and many invertebrates.
1. “Gynandromorph butterfly (33400976872)” By -JvL- from Netherlands – Gynandromorph butterfly (CC BY 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Jatropha sp. – hermaphroditic flower” By Ton Rulkens (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr