Butterflies are fascinating. They are fleeting in nature, yet scientifically important (particularly as indicators of whether habitat is under threat) and they are often strikingly beautiful.

No wonder butterflies have featured on 31 Australian (and Australian Territories) stamps as well as a 2003 issue of aerogrammes and international postage prepaid envelopes.

The 2016 Beautiful Butterflies stamp issue, released on 3 May, features four bright and attractive Australian butterflies.

The Beautiful Butterflies stamp issue will be available online from 3 May 2016, at participating Post Offices, and via mail order on 1800 331 794 while stocks last.


The stamps were designed by Sharon Rodziewicz, from the Australia Post Design Studio, based on some amazing photographs.


Technical specifications

Issue date
3 May 2016
Issue withdrawal date
30 November 2016
3 x $1, 1 x $2.75 International
Stamp design
Sharon Rodziewicz, Australia Post Design Studio
Product design
Sharon Rodziewicz, Australia Post Design Studio
Printer - gummed
EgoTrade Pty Ltd
Paper - gummed
Tullis Russell Red Phos
Paper - self-adhesive
Printer - self-adhesive
RA Printing
Printer - rolls
Paper - rolls
B100 RAF Unik
Printing process
Offset lithography
Stamp size
37.5mm x 26mm
Minisheet size
135mm x 81mm
13.86 x 14.6
Sheet layout
Sheet layout Module of 50 with design ($1)
FDI postmark
Woodlands WA 6018
FDI withdrawal date
31 May 2016

Stamps in this issue

$1 Bordered Rustic (Cupha prosope)

The Bordered Rustic is the only member of the genus Cupha in Australia. This eye-catching, low-flying butterfly can often be seen settling on sunny foliage, slowly pulsing its wings. The Bordered Rustic is found in small clearings and along creeks, at the edges of thick rainforest in some coastal areas of New South Wales and Queensland.

$1 Cairns Birdwing (Ornithoptera euphorion)

The Cairns Birdwing is found only in coastal and montane rainforest areas of northeast Queensland. The female of the species is the largest butterfly found in Australia, with a wingspan of around 15 to 20 centimetres. 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.

$1 Pale Triangle (Graphium eurypylus)

The Pale Triangle is a large swallowtail butterfly. Swallowtails are known for, in most cases, the presence of a tail on their hind wing.Except when feeding on flower nectar near ground level, adults of the species tend to fly high up in the canopy or along margins of the forest and at great speed.

$2.75 Chequered Swallowtail (Papilio demoleus)

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.