Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly Stamps Take Flight Today

January 23, 2013 

Release No. 13-008 

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Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly Stamp

A high-resolution image of the stamp is available for media use only by emailing mark.r.saunders@usps.gov.

PINE MOUNTAIN, GA — Beautiful butterfly stamps begin fluttering across the nation’s mail stream today now that the Postal Service has issued the two-ounce Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly First-Class stamps with the 66 cent 2 ounce rates.

Customers may purchase the stamps at usps.com/stamps, by phone at 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724) and at Post Offices nationwide to prepare for the 1-cent price change that goes into effect Jan. 27.

The new stamp is designed to be used with cards that have an irregular shape and require additional postage. The Butterfly stamp introduced in 2010, when participating greeting card manufacturers began printing a silhouette image of a butterfly on their envelopes so customers would understand that the new butterfly stamp or equivalent postage is required to mail the card.

Nationally acclaimed artist Tom Engeman of Frederick, MD, working under the direction of Derry Noyes of Washington, DC, created the design on a computer using images of preserved butterflies as a starting point. The result is a highly stylized, simplified image of a spicebush swallowtail rather than an exact replica.

Both as caterpillars and butterflies, spicebush swallowtails hide from their predators in plain sight. They do this by mimicking other creatures or their surroundings. The caterpillar later morphs into what looks like a small green snake, with yellow and black markings that resemble a snake's eyes and a false forked tongue. The butterfly’s chrysalis mimics a dried brown leaf, complete with veins.

Customers may view the Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly stamp, as well as many of this year’s other stamps on Facebook at facebook.com/USPSStamps, on Twitter @USPSstamps or on the website Beyond the Perf at beyondtheperf.com/2013-preview. Beyond the Perf is the Postal Service’s online site for information on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.

Ordering First-Day-of-Issue Postmarks
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, at usps.com/stamps, or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others, and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

Spicebush Swallowtail (Butterfly) Stamp
158 N. McDougald Ave.
Pine Mountain, GA 31822-9998

After applying the first day of issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by March 23, 2013.

Ordering First-Day Covers
The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog, online at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-782-6724. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:

U.S. Postal Service
Catalog Request
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014

Philatelic Products
There are seven philatelic products available for this stamp issue:

  • 115906, Press Sheet with die cuts, $132 (Print Quantity of 2,500).
  • 115908, Press Sheet without die cuts, $132 (Print Quantity of 2,500).
  • 115910, Keepsake (Pane & Digital Postmark Set), $15.95.
  • 115916, First Day Cover, $1.10.
  • 115921, Digital Color Postmark, $1.81.
  • 115931, Stamp Deck Card, $0.95.
  • 115932, Stamp Deck Card with/Digital Color Postmark, $2.16.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

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A self-supporting government enterprise, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that reaches every address in the nation — 151 million residences, businesses and Post Office™ Boxes. The Postal Service™ receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations. With 32,000 retail locations and the most frequently visited website in the federal government, usps.com®, the Postal Service has annual revenue of more than $65 billion and delivers nearly 40 percent of the world’s mail. If it were a private sector company, the U.S. Postal Service would rank 35th in the 2011 Fortune 500. In 2011, Oxford Strategic Consulting ranked the U.S. Postal Service number one in overall service performance of the posts in the top 20 wealthiest nations in the world. Black Enterprise and Hispanic Business magazines ranked the Postal Service as a leader in workforce diversity. The Postal Service has been named the Most Trusted Government Agency for six years and the sixth Most Trusted Business in the nation by the Ponemon Institute.

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