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Monarch Caterpillar

Beneficial Insects

Stamp Info

Name Value
Date of Issue April 22, 2009
Year 2009
Quantity Continuous Printing
Perforation or Dimension 13 x 13.5
Series Beneficial Insects
Series Time Span 2007 - 2014
Printer Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited.
Postal Administration Canada

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Stamp Price Values

Condition Name Avg Value
Mint - Never Hinged - Very Fine Only available to paid users
Used - Very Fine Only available to paid users
* Notes about these prices:
  • They are not based on catalogue values but on current dealer and auction listings. The reason for this is that catalogues tend to over-value stamps.
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Stamp Supplies on Amazon


Pane of 50 stamps

Quantity Produced - Continuous printing
Current Purchase Price: Only available to paid users
Original Purchase Price: $1.00
Perforation: 13+
Dimension: 20 mm x 24 mm (vertical)
Printing Process: Lithography in 5 colours
Gum Type: P.V.A.
Tagging: None
Paper: Tullis Russell
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Quantity Produced - 21,700
Current Purchase Price: Only available to paid users
Original Purchase Price: $1.02
Cancellation Location: Leamington, Ontario
Perforation: 13+
Dimension: 20 mm x 24 mm (vertical)
Printing Process: Lithography in 5 colours
Gum Type: P.V.A.
Tagging: None
Paper: Tullis Russell
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Official First Day Cover - Plate Block

Quantity Produced - Unknown
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About Stamp

Don’t let the monarch caterpillar’s small size fool you. This little larva has a big job to do! Day and night, it feeds away through five stages of growth (or instars). And since its food of choice is the milkweed, which can be a pest when it crowds out other plants, the monarch is a great help to gardeners.

In 2007, as part of our tribute to the beneficial insects that roam Canada’s gardens and marshes, homage was paid to the golden-eyed lacewing, the cecropia moth, the convergent lady beetle, the northern bumblebee and the Canada darner. This spring, the monarch caterpillar (Danaus plexippus) joins the ranks of these helpful critters, squirming onto a 2-cent low value definitive stamp of its own.

To designer Keith Martin, the chance to add a new addition to this playful series was a great thrill from a designer’s standpoint. “It was gravy, the cherry on top,” he says. Adding modestly, “I should point out that the strength and success of this series is due largely to the subject matter itself.” Making use of the rich, saturated colours that unified the first set, Martin sought to bring out the caterpillar’s unique characteristics. “I explored many scene and positioning options to figure out how to best showcase the monarch’s stunning colour banding,” he explains. “Posing the caterpillar in an ‘S’ shape moving towards the viewer captures its flexible nature, the slinky qualities of its physical form, and its bright stripes.”

The creative thrill also extends beyond the stamp. “During the development of this stamp, I could not wait to get to the first day cover,” Martin tells us. “I released the hounds, creating a playful infestation of monarchs running amuck across the envelope, and allowing the critters to crawl right onto the stamps themselves. I loved positioning the caterpillar in different positions, building up the crowded cover image, playing with the patterns within patterns, and in the end achieving a random and organic result,” he explains. “Speaking as a designer as well as an artist, the project was fantastic fun!”

By featuring the butterfly on the front of the first day cover and the chrysalis on the back, Martin highlights the monarch’s spectacular life cycle. As one of few migrating butterflies, the monarch travels yearly from Canada to Mexico – a process that can take up to three generations to complete. The Ontario town of Leamington, where the stamp has been cancelled, is on the migration path for monarchs en route to their winter quarters in Central Mexico.


Design / Illustration: Keith Martin.

Similar Stamps


Canada Post Corporation. Canada's Stamp Details, Vol. 18, No. 2, 2009, p. 10-11.

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