New Zealand is home to 23 species of butterflies. Butterflies belong to the insect order Lepidoptera, which is dominated by the butterfly's close relative - the moth. Butterflies resident in New Zealand display different shapes, colours and patterns and live in a wide range of environments, from forest floors and swamps, to domestic gardens and rocky alpine areas.
During the early 1990s, a small definitive issue of five values was used with larger dollar value stamps. The butterfly definitive stamps were initially printed by Leigh-Mardon Pty Ltd. The House of Questa later reprinted the issue and these stamps may be distinguished by the differing perforations on the top and bottom edges of the stamps although the $1, $2 and $4 stamps also vary in size. The $4 and $5 stamps were not issued until January 1995.
The House of Questa stamps were incorrectly listed as being Perf 13¾ x 14 in at least two other highly regarded catalogues when they are in fact 13¾ x 14¼. Volume X of the Postage Stamps of New Zealand (by the Royal Philatelic Society of New Zealand) confirms that 13¾ x 14¼ is in fact correct.