The Colorado hairstreak butterfly is featured on this eighth non-machineable butterfly stamp. designed for use on irregularly sized envelopes such as square greeting cards. invitations. or announcements.

The stamp art showcases a stylized and simplified depiction of the Colorado hairstreak butterfly (Hypaurotis crysalus). rather than an exact replica. The butterfly. with its shimmering purple wings. can be found in the forest canopies of Colorado and the Southwest region of the United States. It has a close association with the Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii). its host plant. and feeds on tree sap and raindrops that have fallen onto the foliage.

This stamp captures the beauty and uniqueness of the Colorado hairstreak butterfly and adds a touch of elegance to any piece of mail requiring a special touch.

The Colorado hairstreak – Colorado’s official state insect – has slender. hair-like. hind-wing appendages that resemble antennae. Nearby. on the underside of the wings. are spots that look like eyes and the thin streaks that give the hairstreak its name. Pointing its abdomen upward with false antennae held high. the butterfly’s evolutionary decoys fool predators into attacking the false head on the wing. A hungry bird ends up with an unsatisfying beakful of the scaly wing.

In autumn. after mating. the female lays her eggs. The plump. green caterpillar hatches in spring and feeds on tender new oak leaves. After metamorphosis. the Colorado hairstreak butterfly. with a wingspan of about 11/2 inches. darts in and out of the tree branches in quick. erratic flight.

The square format of the stamp was developed in partnership with the greeting card industry specifically for oversized or square envelopes. These envelopes cannot pass through the automated Postal processing system and have to be hand-canceled. They are charged a non-machineable surcharge even if they weigh less than one ounce. Greeting card envelopes printed with a silhouette of a butterfly indicate the need for additional postage or the use of a butterfly stamp. Any non-machineable envelope. like oddly shaped or vertical envelopes. as well as lumpy envelopes. rigid envelopes. or mail with clasps. ribbons. or buttons. may use this stamp.

Colorado Hairstreak is available in sheets of twenty. The words “NON-MACHINEABLE SURCHARGE” on the stamp indicate its usage value. Like a Forever stamp. this stamp will always be valid for the rate printed on it. Nationally known artist Tom Engeman created the stamp art. Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamp.


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Colorado Hairstreak 2021 Stamps Forever USPS First-Class

1000 in stock