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2012 - Tiger Moth

Guernsey Post Stamps announces the release on 25 July of its latest Alderney stamp issue which celebrates the Tiger Moth.

Beautifully illustrated by renowned international artist Petula Stone, the stamps feature six of the 10 species of Tiger Moth which can be found on Alderney and complement previous stamp issues depicting Alderney's wide range of insects.

"Tiger Moths include some of the most brilliantly coloured insects to be found in the British Isles," said David Wedd of the Alderney Wildlife Trust. "They belong to a large and diverse family of moths called Arctiidae with some 11,000 species found all over the world."

"Most Tigers fly by night, which is why they are seen less frequently than their striking appearance would suggest. Four of those depicted on the stamps - the Garden, Cream-spot, Jersey Tiger and the Cinnabar - are unpleasant to eat, their aposematic colours acting as an effective warning to predators."

The large Garden Tiger (39p) used to be very common over most of the British Isles, although the nocturnal moth is rarely observed. In recent years the species has become much rarer on the mainland.

In Alderney the attractive Cream-spot Tiger (52p) is most often to be found on heathland in May and June, where it is easily disturbed by day. It also occurs in gardens and is often seen at lighted windows.

The Buff Ermine (53p) is one of the island's commonest moths. In Alderney it can occur in overlapping broods from March to November. It is well known for the variation of its wing-markings, from spotless pale buff to moths that are almost entirely black.

The Ruby Tiger (59p) is another very common species which occurs in every type of habitat in Alderney and in various forms, from very dark with almost no red markings, as seen in Scottish specimens, to almost completely red, as in the Mediterranean.

The Jersey Tiger (69p) is the Channel Islands' iconic moth, found in every type of habitat but especially in gardens. It flies by night, but also in sunshine, where its brilliant colours and habit of settling to feed on buddleia flowers mean that it is often mistaken for a butterfly.

The Cinnabar (74p), an 'honorary tiger', is closely related but differing in many respects, except brilliance of colour. This is another nocturnal moth which is often disturbed by day, when its slow, fluttering flight and dazzling crimson hue make it instantly recognisable.

Dawn Gallienne, head of philatelic at Guernsey Post Stamps commented:- "Petula Stone's illustrations capture these creatures beautifully and the end results are stunning."

Date of issue: 25 July 2012
Designer: Petula Stone
Printer: BDT International
Values: 39p, 52p, 53p, 59p, 69p, 74p
Process: Offset lithography
Stamp size: 30.56mm deep x 38mm wide
S/Sheet size: 100mm deep x 140mm wide
Paper: 110 gsm unwatermarked PVA adhesive
Sheet: 10
Perforation: 13.75
Cylinder: A