Australia post issued Beautiful Butterflies stamp featuring four bright, attractive and strikingly beautiful Australian butterflies.
Butterflies are part of the largest insect order, Lepidoptera, which literally means “scaled wings”. The two pairs of scaly membranous wings that butterflies possess is how they differ from all other insects.
Their colourful, and sometimes detailed, patterns can serve many purposes, from blending in to their surroundings to attracting a mate.
The stamps were designed by Sharon Rodziewicz, from the Australia Post Design Studio, based on some amazing photographs.
Australia 2016 Beautiful Butterflies stamp
The butterflies featured on stamps are The Pale Triangle, the Cairns Birdwing, The Bordered Rustic and the Chequered Swallowtail.
The Pale Triangle (Graphium eurypylus), the Chequered Swallowtail (Papilio demoleus) and the Cairns Birdwing (Ornithoptera euphorion) are all members of the swallowtail family.
Swallowtails are typically large, boldly coloured and decorative and are named for the presence, in many species, of a tail on their hind wing.
The Pale Triangle (Graphium eurypylus)
The Pale Triangle is part of the Graphium genus of swallowtails, of which only six of the almost 90 species occur in Australia.
The Pale Triangle can be distinguished from the Blue Triangle (Graphium sarpedon) by the extra white spots in the black areas along the outside of its forewings.
The Cairns Birdwing (Ornithoptera euphorion)
The large, striking Cairns Birdwing is found only in coastal areas of north-east Queensland. The female of the species is the largest butterfly found in Australia, with a wingspan of around 15 to 20 centimetres.
The male of the species looks similar to the Richmond Birdwing (Ornithoptera richmondia), which is endemic to Australia and listed as Vulnerable in Queensland.
When flying above the treetops the male’s extra-large size, iridescent green and black colouring, and gliding style of flight, make for an impressive sight.
The Bordered Rustic (Cupha prosope)
The Bordered Rustic is a medium-sized butterfly. It is seen in sunny areas, small clearings and along creeks, at the edges of thick rainforest in some coastal areas of New South Wales and Queensland.
The Chequered Swallowtail (Papilio demoleus)
The Chequered Swallowtail is a large-sized swallowtail butterfly and is found in most parts of mainland Australia as well as on Lord Howe Island.
Its larvae feed on a wide variety of Cullen species, groundcover plants or shrubs that occur in the arid and tropical zones of northern Australia.
Title: Australia 2016 Beautiful Butterflies stamp
Date of Issue: 3 May 2016
Denominations: $1 x 3, $2.75
Source: Australia stamps