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BUTTERFLIES

fluturi_MThe butterflies, which are members of the Order Lepidoptera, are the lively colored insects with membranous wings covered with microscopic scales (lipid = scale; pteron = wing). The butterflies, which are members of the Order Lepidoptera, are the lively colored insects with membranous wings covered with microscopic scales (lipid = scale; pteron = wing). From a larva or a caterpillar stage they turn into nymphs or pupas and then into a butterfly. Their lifespan differs from one species to another; they may live a month or a couple of months, a few hours or even a year. Depending their feeding time, they are both diurnal and nocturnal and they differ by their way of living and also by their appearance.

The postage stamps issue which Romfilatelia introduces into circulation – Butterflies – illustrates the following species: the Old World Swallowtail, the Scarce Swallowtail, the Mountain Apollo, the Peacock Butterfly, the Atlas Moth, the Morpho Butterfly and the Glasswing Butterfly.

The Mountain Apollo (Parnassius apollo) is illustrated on the postage stamp with face value of lei 0.50. It is a very beautiful butterfly with a wingspan of 70-95 mm. It lives in high mountains up to an altitude of 6000 m.

The Old World Swallowtail, the Scarce Swallowtail and the Mountain Apollo are part of the Papilionidae Family.

The Glasswing Butterfly (Greta oto) is illustrated on the postage stamp with the face value of lei 0.60. It was named this way by the first entomologists who described it in honor of the great Swedish-born American actress, Greta Garbo.

The butterfly has transparent wings, the fine veins on its wings making it look like colored glass. It can be found in the area between Mexico and the other Central America states.

The Morpho Butterfly (Morpho nestira) is illustrated on the postage stamp with face value of lei 2.40. It is a large butterfly, its wingspan being of about 180 mm.

The adults feed during the day on the juice of plants and fruits, while the larvae feed on plants and only during night time. It can be found mainly in Central and Southern America.

The Old World Swallowtail (Papilio machaon) is illustrated on the postage stamp with face value of lei 3.00. Its wingspan is of 70-90 mm. It can be found over a large area from Western Europe to Japan.

The Atlas Moth (Attacus atlas) is illustrated on the postage stamp with face value of lei 4.50. It is considered to be the largest butterfly of the Saturnidae Family, having a wingspan of 270-280 mm. It can be found in Southern Asia and Isles of Indonesia.

The Peacock Butterfly (Inachis io) is illustrated on the postage stamp with face value of lei 5.00 and is part of the Nymphalidae Family. It is a large, diurnal butterfly which has a “peacock eye” pattern on both wings. The specialists consider it to be the most beautiful butterfly in our country.

The Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides podalirius) is illustrated on the postage stamp of the perforated souvenir sheet with the face value of lei 8.10. Its wingspan is of 70-90 mm. The larvae of this butterfly live on fruit trees.

We would like to thank the “Grigore Antipa” National Museum of Natural History for the documentary support granted in the accomplishment of this postage stamps issue.

Issue date: 2011-04-12

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