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30 June 1997
4/1997
Commemorative Issue

Insects of Cyprus

Cyprus
It is estimated that world-wide there are 5-10 million species of insects, of which fewer than one and a half million have been identified, described and named scientifically.

The entomological fauna of Cyprus is adequately rich and for this reason various scientists have from time to time engaged in the study of a variety of insects belonging to various orders. Such scientists included H. Morris, George A. Mavromoustakis, who dealt with bees (Apoidea) and is considered to be the father of some bee species, and Th. Shakides.

Considering that the economy of Cyprus is to a large extend dependent on agriculture, it was natural that several scientists should give emphasis to insects harmful to agriculture. Mr. G.P. Georgiou, professor of entomology at the University of California, U.S.A., in his book "The Insects and Mites of Cyprus, 1977" has classified 2884 insects into various orders, the main ones being the following:

  • Hymenoptera (696 - 24,1%)
  • Coleoptera (638 - 22,1%)
  • Diptera (415 - 14,4%)
  • Hemiptera/Heteroptera (345 - 12,0%)
  • Hemiptera/Omoptera (304 - 10,5%)
  • Lemidoptera (293 - 10,2%)
  • Other

Text: Dr Ioannis Melifronides, Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment
Source: Department of Postal Services, Republic of Cyprus.

Oedipoda miniata Pall.  

Oedipoda miniata Pall.

:

This insect belongs to the Orthoptera order to which locusts belong. The name Oedipoda refers to insects with swollen legs.

Source: Department of Postal Services, Republic of Cyprus.

Acherontia atropos L.  

Acherontia atropos L.

:

This is a large butterfly with a wing span of some 120mm. Its name derives from the river Acheron which, according to mythology, was crossed by the shadows of the dead without ever returning. For this reason, they bear the image of a skull on the thorax. These butterflies usually fly at night time and make a characteristic noise. In the Cypriot dialect they are called "poumpourides" and when they fly into a house they are considered as a "good omen".

Source: Department of Postal Services, Republic of Cyprus.

Daphnis nerii L.  

Daphnis nerii L.

:

This is known as the oleander butterfly. It has a nice green colour with rosy shades. The caterpillar causes damage to the oleander shrubs. The size of the butterfly is approximately 110mm.

Source: Department of Postal Services, Republic of Cyprus.

Ascalaphus macaronius Scop.  

Ascalaphus macaronius Scop.

:

This insect belongs to the Neuroptera order on account of the large number of neurons (nerves, veins) on its wings. Its body is slim and elongated and has four membraneous wings which look alike and bear cross-veins. It is considered useful to agriculture as it feeds on other harmful insects.

Source: Department of Postal Services, Republic of Cyprus.

Official First Day Covers

Official FDC Insects of Cyprus

Technical Information

Designer: Andreas Ladommatos
Size: 30 x 40 mm
Quantities:
c25: 1000000
c10: 500000
c35: 150000
c15: 500000
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