The Isle of Man Post Office has featured butterflies associated with the Island on a set of new stamps released this month, using a stunning collection of images reflecting the colour and variety of a number of species that choose the Isle of Man as their home.
Selecting just eight from a total of nineteen species which inhabit the Island these spectacular stamps have been brought vividly to life using the outstanding illustrations of UK based designer Richard Lewington. He has worked previously on artwork for Manx stamps including ‘A Walk in the Ballaugh Curragh’ and ‘Bugs and Bees’ issues. Specialising in illustrating entomological subjects his latest book ‘The Butterflies of Britain and Ireland’ has been described as ‘probably the best butterfly book of them all’ in The Times newspaper (UK). His stunning artwork brings to life the Small Tortoiseshell, the Wall, Common Blue, Dark Green Fritillary, Green Veined White, Comma, Speckled Wood and Red Admiral.
Depicted with their favoured food sources, most of the different species linked to the Isle of Man have been resident on the Island for thousands of years and are either unwilling, or unable, to venture across the Irish Sea. However, some of these beautiful creatures, such as the Painted Lady, migrated from as far away as Morocco to make their home on the Isle of Man, but sadly is unable to survive our winter climate. It has also lately been established that in contrast to other British Islands now losing species the Isle of Man has gained two which now inhabit much of the Island.
Four stamps from this issue also carry the distinctive World Wildlife Fund panda logo to highlight the valuable work done by this organisation.
Valerie Caine © April 2011