• Issue: December 1965
  • Designer: M. & G. Shamir
  • Plate no.: 158 - 161
  • Method of printing: Photolithography

This series of stamps shows local butterflies or moths, many of which are characteristic of our region though some are native also to the whole Mediterranean, Asia and Africa.

Charaxes Jasius
(wing span of the male 7 centimeters; of the female 8.5 centimeters)

This species, the largest of our Nymphlids, is interesting as it has two tails on each hind wing. Its lower side (not pictured on the stamp) has a beautiful pattern of white bands, stripes and eyemarks, as well as blue ocelli on the hind wing, which are seen also on the upper side. The species, common to the whole Mediterranean wherever the food plant of its larva Arbutus occurs, is found in Israel in the Mediterranean groves of the Judean hills, the Carmel and in Galilee. Though the butterfly can often be seen in June and September - October, it is difficult to catch as it usually flies high around tree-tops. The larva (5 centimeters long) is not easy to find, having the same green color as the leaves of its food plant. It has four reddish horns on its head, two orange-ringed bluish eyespots in the middle of the body, and a bifurcate hind end. It occurs in spring and summer and feeds chiefly at night.

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Papilio Alexanor Maccabaeus - The Mediterranean Swallowtail
(wing span 7 cm)

Occurs throughout the Mediterranean, but is represented in Israel by a special subspecies. In contrast to the common swallowtail which is found all over the country, it is much rarer and more localized, being found only in the Judean hills, the Gilboa and Upper Galilee. It has only one generation (in spring) and its larva appears from March to May chiefly on Colladonia, but also on other umbellifers. On Colladonia it feeds on the yellow flowers and young seeds, and its color, a bright yellow, exactly matches the color of the plant. If the larva is disturbed it protrudes a bright orange bifurcated excrescence which releases a very unpleasant odor.

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Daphnis Nerii – The Oleander Hawk Moth
(Wing Span 11 Cm)

This moth is perhaps the most common and most beautiful hawk moth in the country, the adult being bright green and violet. Since it appears in the Mediterranean wherever its food plant, the oleander, grows, it is also found in towns and settlements. The moth has three to four annual generations and some of the adults migrate north, where they may reach even Britain and Scandinavia. The larva is very conspicuous by its size, 12-15 centimeters, either bright green with yellow oblique stripes or light brown, having a curved horn on the rear segment. It is easy to breed, as it readily pupates in dry sand or even between pieces of paper; the moth emerges three to four weeks after pupation.

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Zegris Eupheme Uarda - The Eastern Orange Tip
(Wing Span 4-5 Cm)

The species occurs in many forms in Spain and South Russia, from Asia Minor to Central Asia. Our subspecies flies in March and April only in the lower Jordan valley, the Judean desert, the Negev, and the Arava. Its larva, which is still undescribed, is green and lives on Cruciferae.

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Butterflies Of Israel