Beautiful Butterflies

Release date: 3 May 2016

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

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.

The 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.

The 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.

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.

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.

Technical details

  • Issue date

    3 May 2016
  • FDI withdrawal

    31 May 2016
  • Denomination

    3 x $1, 1 x $2.75 International
  • Stamp design

    Sharon Rodziewicz, Australia Post Design Studio
  • Product design

    Sharon Rodziewicz, Australia Post Design Studio
  • Paper (gummed)

    Tullis Russell Red Phos
  • Printer (gummed)

    EgoTrade Pty Ltd
  • Paper (self-adhesive)

  • Printer (self-adhesive)

    RA Printing
  • Paper (rolls)

    B100 RAF Unik
  • Printer (rolls)

  • Stamp size

    37.5mm x 26mm
  • Minisheet size

    135mm x 81mm
  • Printing process

    Offset lithography
  • Perforations

    13.86 x 14.6
  • Sheet layout

    Module of 50 with design ($1)
  • National postmark

    Woodlands WA 6018
  • Issue withdrawal date

    30 November 2016

*This content was produced at the time of the stamp issue release date and will not be updated.