Lev Bely, 12.04.2013 22:17
United States Postal Service released a new spring stamp for big envelopes featuring spicebush swallowtail Papilio troilus.
This is the third in a butterfly series that includes monarch Danaus plexippus and Baltimore checkerspot Euphydryas phaeton. The set of 20 stamps at the two-ounce rate of 66 cents each is available nationwide.
The stamp image is a computer-made and based on photos of dried specimens, so the resulting illustration appears kind of graphic prototype than an exact copy of spicebush swallowtail.
Both P. troilus larvae and imagoes are capable to stay invisible in plain sight so that predators see instead “animal” or even some uneatable thing.
Young brown and white larvae can be mistaken for bird dropping, whilst adult ones perfectly imitate a small snake with naturally looking “eyes” and even forked “tongue”. Pupa appears a dry leaf with realistic vein structure.
The square shape of the stamp was codeveloped with the greeting card industry meant to encourage its using on square envelopes that weigh up to and contain 1 ounce.
Greeting card envelopes printed with a butterfly silhouette that indicates one should pay additional 20 cents postage or use the butterfly stamp. However, this stamp may be as well used for other mail envelopes with irregular sizes and shapes.
Lehigh Acres Citizen, http://www.lehighacrescitizen.com
Photo: spicebush swallowtail stamp, http://www.lehighacrescitizen.com
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