- Gynandromorphs (“gyne” from Greek meaning female, “andro” for male, and “morph” meaning variety) are individual animals that have both genetically male and female tissues and often have observable male and female characteristics.
- Gynandromorphs occur in insects, spiders, crustaceans, and other arthropods as well as in birds, but they are extremely rare, and discovering one in the field or in the laboratory is a major event.
- The Kole wetlands are spread over Thrissur and Malappuram districts of Kerala extending from the northern bank of Chalakudy river in the south to the southern bank of Bharathapuzha river in the north.
- The name Kole refers to the peculiar cultivation practice carried out from December to May. “Kole”, a Malayalam word, indicates a field that gives a bumper crop, so long as floods do not damage it.
- The Kole areas are low-lying and have a central, narrow strip covering a long expanse, with many pockets running into cultivated land on either side. The region is naturally subject to salt-water ingression.
- During the monsoon, the entire region, which gets submerged under water, is cultivated by draining the water and by erecting bunds. Regulators are provided at certain strategic points to prevent the intrusion of saltwater into the Kole wetlands during the cultivation period.
- Grasses and sedges are found in shallow and drier zones. The main activity in and around Kole is paddy cultivation. As Kole is a large sprawling wetland, with human habitation all around, there are coconut and arecanut plantations, gardens and cultivated plants.
- It has been recognised as one of India’s Important Bird Areas by BirdLife International.
Why in the news?
- Scientists have found some Gynandromorphs dragonflies (the Scarlet Skimmer) at Kole Wetlands.
- Further research has to be undertaken to investigate the infuence of environmental factors on this phenomenon.
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