Australia 2003 Butterflies & Bugs
- Issue Date: 24 September 2003
- Designed by: Graeme Base
- Printed by: SNP Sprint
- Print Process: Lithography
- Dimensions: 37.5mm x 26mm
- 1 Description
- 2 Stamps
- 3 Miniature Sheet
- 4 First Day Covers
- 5 Maximum Cards
- 6 Presentation Pack
Bugs and butterflies fascinate children (and a great many adults). This year we are inviting children to ‘hop into stamps’ with Bugs and Butterflies during Stamp Collecting Month. There are two issue sheets each featuring three stamp designs. This issue is illustrated by Graeme Base with the elaborate detail and hidden images that characterise his popular, award-winning work.
- Perforations: 14 x 14¾
- Format: sheets of 50 (2 panes of 25 with gutter)
This icon of far north Queensland makes a spectacular sight, especially when the butterfly’s brilliant metallic blue and velvety black features are seen against the backdrop of dark rainforest foliage.
This is one of Australia’s most brightly coloured grasshoppers. It is found in the rugged sandstone country in the Top End of the Northern Territory. The adult’s vivid colouring – orange-red, with royal blue and black patterns – warns potential predators that this bug may not taste as good as it looks.
Their bright colours and contrasting spots make ladybirds one of the best known beetle families in Australia. Most ladybirds are carnivorous. They eat other insects, including pests such as aphids, scale insects and mites. Their diet – and being a sign of good luck to come – makes ladybirds welcome in any garden.
Its size (its body can be up to 120 mm long) and its posture (with forelegs held together as if praying) make this bug easy to recognise. It’s also quite common – it is found almost everywhere in Australia. Many species are camouflaged to blend with a particular environment or background, such as flowers, rocks or tree trunks, so they aren’t easy to see. This sort of camouflage is handy for predators. Just ask the captive damselfly in the grips of the green mantid on the stamp.
These common Australian insects can grow to 120 mm in length and are found in forests and woodlands throughout the Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. This caterpillar is bright green with red and blue lumps along the body. The lumps are topped with non-stinging hairs. A yellow line runs along each side of the body. When the angle of light is just right the yellow line can be mistaken for a leaf’s mid-rib.
Beetles are the largest and most diverse order of insects. This one takes its common name from a violin-shaped pattern in its mostly dark brown shell. The fiddler beetle is found from top to bottom of the eastern half of Australia.
- Perforations: serpentine die cut 11 x 11¼
- Formats: booklets of 10 and coils of 100
The miniature sheet features additional creatures, including a large and very colourful male birdwing butterfly (Ornithoptera priamus). These butterflies prefer to keep to the treetops where they cruise around with a gliding flight. Birdwings are internationally protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Also to be found, although perhaps not immediately, are a stick insect, ant, slater, weevil, moth, scorpion, cicada, lacewing, crane fly, centipede, mosquito and dragonfly. These creatures are hidden within the design. This design technique is one of the hallmarks of the work of Graeme Base.
First Day Covers
The first day of issue postmark was Canberra ACT 2600.