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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Butterflies – II

The issue of the “Butterflies – II” definitive continues the series showing butterflies native to Liechtenstein started in September 2009. This time three very familiar butterflies from the Satyridae (Satyrinae), Papilionidae (Swallowtail) and Pieridae (Whites) families are depicted: the rare False Ringlet, the ubiquitous Brimstone Butterfly and the magnificent Yellow and Black Swallowtail.

Striking features of the “False Ringlet” Coenonympha oedippus (face value CHF 1.40) are the yellow-fringed, whitecentred black eyespots on the brown hind-wing underside, which often cause it to be confused with the far commoner and larger Ringlet. Progressive destruction of wetlands has confined this butterfly to only a few localities. In the Alpine Rhine valley it now occurs significantly only in Liechtenstein, albeit in quite large numbers in some places (e.g. Ruggell Marsh). In Switzerland the False Ringlet is on the red list of species threatened with extinction.

The “Brimstone Butterfly”, Gonepteryx rhamni (face value CHF 1.60) is the only Central European butterfly species to overwinter in open vegetation. Revived by the first warming rays of sunlight, it makes is way promptly to its host plants, so becoming one of the very first harbingers of spring. The wings of the male Brimstone Butterfly are lemon-yellow in colour, those of the female greenishwhite.

With a wingspan of 50 to 75 millimetres the “Yellow and Black Swallowtail” Papilio machaon (face value CHF 2.60) is the largest butterfly native to Liechtenstein. With its yellow-and black coloration, blue wing margin, red eyespots and conspicuous black strips on the hind-wings the Yellow and Black Swallowtail, found from Europe to Japan, is one of the most visually striking butterflies.

Title: Butterflies – II
Date of Issue: 7 June 2010
Country: Liechtenstein
Denominations: CHF 1.40, CHF 1.60, CHF 2.60