Butterflies symbolize the short-lived but intense joys of the Canadian summer better than any other creature. Four new stamps depicting Canadian butterflies are being issued in conjunction with the XVIII International Congress of Entomology being held in Vancouver, British Columbia from 3 to 9 July 1988. There are over 20,000 known species of the butterfly of which 272 exist in Canada. Canadian varieties have wing spans from less than 2.5 cm to 7.5 cm. Life cycles range from a few week to two years and involve a complete metamorphosis through the egg, caterpillar, chrysalis and adult stages. Two stamps feature members of the Swallowtail family. Swallowtails are Canada's largest - and perhaps best known and most beautiful - butterflies. The Canadian Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus canadensis) can be found from coast to coast, as well as from our southern border to the northern treeline. On these stamps, designed by well-known Toronto graphic artist Heather Cooper, the butterflies come alive against a subdued background suggestive of the type of vegetation inhabited by each species. This illustrative approach is typical of Cooper's work, recognized for having a magic element - a kind of "fantasy realism".
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