Title: Flora & Fauna
Date of Issue: 1 July 2009
Denominations: 0,32 €, 0,62 €
The two self adhesive stamps of this Flora and Fauna series are devoted to the Geranium and the butterfly Graellsia isabelae, and depict images of the both.
The plant commonly known as Geranium belongs to the family of the Geraniaceae and the genus Pelargonium. Confusingly, "geranium" is also the common name of members of the genus Pelargonium. Geranium is a genus of over 400 species of flowering biennial, perennial and annual plants. These attractive flowers and their various colours make them very popular in gardening. They are grown throughout the temperate regions of the world and the mountains of the tropics, but mostly in the eastern part of the Mediterranean region. Propagation is by semi-ripe cuttings in winter and early spring or by seed. They are normally grown in part shade to full sun, in well draining but moisture retentive soils.
- Graellsia isabelae
The butterfly depicted in this stamp belongs to the nominal subspecies Graellsia isabelae ssp.isabelae. It is a female specimen and according to entomologists, this Spanish butterfly is the most beautiful in Europe. It takes its name from its describer and naturalist Dr. Graells Agüera, who discovered it in 1849 in the Sierra de Guadarrama (Madrid). He first gave it the name of Saturnia isabelae in homage to Queen Isabel II of the Borbon dynasty, her protector. The main colour of this Iberian Lepidoptera, of an exotic nature, is pale green with the wing veins heavily outlined with reddish-brown scales and with yellow replacing the pale green on the hindwing tails and wing submarginal areas. The broad, outwardly curved tails are more than twice as long in males than in the females. This moth primarily feeds on the leaves of pine trees where it lays its eggs after fertilization. This specimen lives in the Pyrenees, the central mountain range of the Iberian Peninsula and the mountains of Albarracín, Javalambre, Gúdar, Cazorla, Segura, Alcaraz and Guadarrama. The photograph depicted in the stamp belongs to Enrique Aguilar and the butterfly is form the collection of entomologist Tomás Latasa who has kindly supplied it.
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