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28 June 1983
3/1983
Commemorative Issue

Butterflies of Cyprus

Cyprus
Butterflies are placed in an order of insects called the Lepidoptera. Their winds are covered with tiny scales which are easily dislodged if the wings are touched by hand, and appear on the fingers as fine dust. The beautiful colours and patterns created by these scales come from pigments or the effects of microscopic structures which split the light falling on them and reflect back only a part of it. Since the butterflies' eyesight is sensitive to parts of the spectrum that are invisible to us, butterflies' wings have even more complex patterns that our ultra-violet-blind eyes can see. The patterns are statements of identity, so that individuals may recognise those with whom mating can be fertile. Butterflies lay eggs which hatch into larvae. Larva is the feeding and growing stage, eating plant material voraciously, shedding its cuticle several times and growing rapidly. When it has reached full size the larva becomes inactive (pupa), neither feeding nor moving and extensive breakdown and reorganization takes place within its body (metamorphosis), gives rise eventually to the adult form (imago). Butterflies feed by sucking the sweet nectar from flowers through their long proboscis. They are useful transferring the pollen as they fly from flower to flower. This pollination is essential if seeds are to develop.

Cyprus has a varied fauna with elements from Europe, Asia and Africa. Most species of its butterflies are also found in Central and East Mediterranean countries. Glaucopsyche Paphos and Allancastria cerisyi cypria are among those species and varieties that have been evolved because of the isolation of the island. In Cyprus butterflies fly normally from the beginning of spring to autumn. There may be 2 or 3 broods during the season. The adults do not survive the winter but the pupae of the last brood can do so.

Source: Department of Postal Services, Republic of Cyprus.

Pararge aegeria  

Pararge aegeria

:

Family of Satyridae. Found in preen humid valleys. Has two broods (spring and summer). Its larvae feed on various grasses. Recorded in Nicosia, Lapithos, Cedar Valley, Platres, Kakopetria.

Aricia medon  

Aricia medon

:

Family of Lycaenidae. Found in the plains and on the mountains, up to 3000 ft. Has two or three broods. Its larvae feed on rock roses and Geraniaceae. Recorded in Nicosia, Lapithos, Larnaca, Troodos, Kykkos.

Glaucopsyche Paphos  

Glaucopsyche Paphos

:

Family of Lycaenidae. Found in the plains (spring broom) and on the mountains (summer broom). Recorded in Nicosia, Lapithos, Agirta, Kato Platres, St. Hilarion, Droushia.

Technical Information

Designer: A. Tassos
Size: 27 x 35 mm
Quantities:
M130: 1000000
M250: 250000
M60: 1000000
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