Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cactuses of Bulgaria

Bulgaria Post issued the cactuses stamp series in one set of 4 stamps and one souvenir sheet composed of one stamp. The species of cactuses. were depicted are Artichoke cactus , Mammillaria, Octopus cactus, Astrophytum asterias.


Artichoke cactus (Obregonia denegrii)

The artichoke cactus is found in semi-desert and shrubland at elevations of around 600 - 700 metres above sea level. It is often found on rocky, gentle slopes in limestone gravel.


0.10 Leva - Octopus cactus (Rathbunia alamosensis)

Octopus cactus is a species of cactus native to Mexico.It is viviparous (that is, the seeds germinate before leaving the parent plant), apparently an adaptation to living in coastal plains which are prone to flooding.

0.50 Leva - Mammillaria (Mammillaria pseudoperbella)

Mammillarias have extremely variable spination from species to species, and attractive flowers, making them specifically attractive for cactus hobbyists. Most mammillarias plants are considered easy to cultivate, though some species are among the hardest cacti to grow.The genus Mammillaria is one of the largest in the cactus family (Cactaceae), with currently 171 known species and varieties recognized.

0.60 Leva - Artichoke cactus (Obregonia denegrii)

This small cactus is just visible above the surface of the ground, as the heads emerge only slightly from the larger underground root system. The distinctive appearance of the head, which has given rise to the common name of 'artichoke cactus', is formed by the spirally arranged, erect tubercles; at the tip of each, there are 3 - 4 flexible spines. White flowers emerge from the centre of the whorl of tubercles, and these develop into whitish-brown fruits if cross-pollination is successful.

1.50 Leva - Star Cactus (Astrophytum asterias)

Astrophytum asterias is a species of cactus that is native to the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas in the United States and the states of Nuevo León and Tamaulipas in Mexico.

Astrophytum asterias is spineless and squat, reaching a height of 2.5–6 cm and a diameter of 5–15 cm . In the wild, they flower throughout most of the summer season.Its decline in the wild has been largely attributed to over-collection and poaching. Astrophytum asterias is listed as endangered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service vulnerable by the IUCN and critically imperilled by The Nature Conservancy.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fishes of Armenia

Armenia Post issued the sixth series of flora and fauna on year 2000 and feature the endangered fishes species, Salmo Ischchan gegarkuni and Barbus goktschaicus.


Salmo Ischchan gegarkuni is endemic to Lake Sevan. It is a medium sized fish with silver scales, big black, sometimes orange or light pink spots. Ischchan has 4 biotypes: S.i. ischchan, S.i. gegarkuni, S.i. anilewski, S.i. aestivalis. The gegarkuni has a sharp chin and fusiform body. By length reaches 40cm, weight 400-600gram.


Barbus goktschaicus is endemic to Lake Sevan. The fish has a fusiform body with black spots. The length varies between 8 to 30cm, weight is up to 500gram. There are two pairs of barbels around the mouth, the dorsal flipper has a stiff ray. It is hard to catch. These rare endangered species are included in the Red Book of Armenia.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Coconut Crab 0f Pitcairn Islands

Pitcairn Islands Post same as Vanuatu Post has issued the stamp series featured the specific crab, Coconut Crab, Birgus Latro. But the issuance scene are different.


The Coconut Crab or Birgus latro is a fascinating creature that found on Henderson Island and possibly on Oeno and Ducie. It has an extremely drawn out life cycle which causes the species to re-populate slowly.


The Pacific crab population has declined throughout its developmental range due to habitat depletion, being collected for food and from introduced animal enemies such as pigs.


With rapidly declining Coconut Crab numbers, many Pacific countries have implemented bans on the collection of the world’s largest crustacean. The slow life cycle has resulted in laws aimed at protecting females of egg-bearing age.


Karabakh Horse of Armenia


Armenia Post issued the fauna stamp series feature the Karabakh horse on February 14, 2005. This species is very specific horse of Armenia. Prior to the 19th century Karabakh had a great and substantial influence in improving horse breeds, which gave the opportunity to breed a horse with the specific features called Karabakh horse.

The Karabakh horse also known as Karabakh, is a mountain-steppe racing and riding horse. It is named after the geographic region where the horse was originally developed, Karabakh in the Southern Caucasus, an area that is de jure part of Azerbaijan but the highland part of which is currently under the control of Armenia. The breed is noted for its good temper and speed.


The Karabakh horse is not large, its build is peculiar to the saddle horses, it is sturdy, the muscles are well-developed, the head is small and has the expressive features, eyes are alert. The average measurements of stallions are: height at withers 147cm, oblique body length 149cm, chest girth 169cm, cannon bone girth 18.6 cm.

The loin is straight, short wide, the chest is deep. The limbs are properly set, the skin is tin, hair-side is soft and gleaming, the hair of forelock, mane and tail is tin. The colour is chestnut or bay with a characteristics golden tint.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Wandering Glider Dragonfly

Pitcairn Islands Post issued the stamp series feature Wandering Glider Dragonfly in two single stamps and one specifically shaped souvenir sheet on August 26, 2009
This dragonfly is the world’s most widely distributed dragonfly being found in the tropics as well as in temperate zones. It breeds on every continent except Europe and Antarctica and is found all around the world.

This species flies almost constantly and drifts with the wind as it feeds. It flies thousands of miles over oceans and because of its characteristic gliding flight, its common name is the Globe Skimmer or Wandering Glider. It can be seen flying almost anywhere in open country, sometimes in great numbers. They rarely perch but at sea they have been known to land on ships far away from land.
They usually inhabit the thickly vegetated areas of stream bank areas and lower wetland areas near the ocean. Breeding occurs in standing or slow moving water, so rice paddies in the tropics are particularly suitable habitats. Forests and even rain puddles are also known breeding locations.

The colour of the thorax and tapered abdomen of both sexes is orangish to light brown with long, broad and clear wings. The small dark area on the tip of the hind-wing is distinctive.
The Dragonfly is up to 4.5 cm long reaching wing spans between 7.2 cm and 8.4 cm.
The Wandering Glider feeds mainly on insects and small crustaceans. Of distinct advantage to humans is that both the larvae and the adult are great hunters and often eat a lot of insect pests, including mosquitoes. Their main predators are fish.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Vanuatu Frangipani

Vanuatu Post issued the flower stamp series, Frangipani ( Plumeria) which comprised of 4 single stamps, on May 14, 2009.


Plumeria (common name Frangipani) is a small genus native to subtropical and tropical Mexico and Central America. Plumeria has spread to all tropical areas of the world, especially Hawaii, the South Pacific, India and as far as Eastern Africa. The common name "Frangipani" comes from the Marquess of a 16th century Italian noble family, who invented a plumeria-scented perfume.


Plumeria is generally a medium-sized tree growing to about 10M high. Its broad, usually round-headed canopy is often as wide as the tree is tall. The species and hybrids vary in tree size, compactness, branching character, leaf and flower size and colour, and deciduousness.

In deciduous types the leaves fall during wintertime while hybrids tend to retain their foliage year-round. The flowers expand into a “pinwheel” of five petals and may be white, red, yellow, pink, or multiple colors. The hybrids differ in their profusion of blooms, with some producing more than 200 flowers per cluster and others only 50–60 flowers.

Plumeria possesses poisonous, milky sap and its flowers are most fragrant at night in order to lure sphinx moths to pollinate them. The flowers have no nectar, and simply dupe their pollinators. The moths inadvertently pollinate them by transferring pollen from flower to flower in their fruitless search for nectar.


In the Pacific Islands, Plumeria is used for making leis and in modern Polynesian culture, the flower is often worn by women to indicate their relationship status - over the right ear if seeking a relationship, and over the left, if not available. In Vanuatu the flower is popular for decoration and is used for beauty products.

Coconut Crabs of Vanuatu


The Coconut crab ( Birgus latro) is the largest land-living arthropod in the world. The species inhabits the coastal forest regions of many Indo-Pacific islands. Generally nocturnal, they remain hidden during the day and emerge only on some nights to forage.They can weigh nearly 9 pounds and live 60 years.

This enormous crab has developed much to adapt to its conditions: climbing skills to fetch food from tree tops; digging skills to burrow underground and into tree trunks to hide; gills to survive in water, or to drink a little saltwater to maintain its body salt.


The life cycle of the Coconut Crab (Birgus latro) is extremely drawn out which causes the species to re-populate slowly. Phase one sees the female crabs travel to the coast to spawn. Four to five larval stages follow, taking 28 days in the ocean, after which the developing crab spends a further 28 days on the ocean floor. The next stage is to come ashore and find an empty shell to hide in. They remain in this temporary housing for 1-2 years and then travel inland where they tunnel underground to a depth of 50mm. In yet another home, the exoskeleton becomes brittle and is discarded and the crab becomes immobile. The crab then eats its old shell to re-absorb minerals while a new shell develops over a 4-week period. The crab can then finally leave its burrow but reproduction cannot occur until they mature between 3.5 and 5 years.


They are herbivorous feeding mainly on dry coconut flesh (by cracking open coconut shells with their powerful claws), dead fruits and leaf but have also been observed eating dead animal carcasses.


The crab population has shrunk throughout its range due to habitat depletion, collecting for food and by introduced animal enemies such as pigs. With rapidly declining Coconut Crab numbers, Vanuatu has implemented a 3-year ban in certain parts of the Republic, on the collection of the world’s largest crustacean. The slow life cycle resulted in an Act aimed at protecting females of egg-bearing age, by prohibiting the collection of any crab whose body is less than 9cm. In length. These actions will hopefully rejuvenate a resource that has become one of the symbols of the nation.


The gathering of Coconut Crabs is not illegal but there is a quota allocation and closed seasons which everyone is asked to obey. Coconut crab populations in several areas have declined or become extinct due to both habitat loss and human predation.It is a worldwide protected species according to the IUCN Invertebrate Red Data Book.


Vanuatu Post is proud to support the efforts being made to ensure the long-term survival of the Coconut Crab in Vanuatu and releases this stamp issue to help raise awareness of this conservation initiative.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sheep gathering in Iceland

Iceland Post issued the stamp series of agriculture animal, Sheep , on September 16, 2009. The stamp set comprised of two stamps.Sheep is agriculture animals which has high economical value.

Icelandic sheep roam freely on extensive pastures during the summer. In spring and autumn they graze on cultivated land. In autumn the sheep are rounded up and herded back to sheep cotes to be sorted by their owners. The number of sheep in the Iceland country in 2006 exceeded 455.000 and registered sheep-owners that year numbered 2.435.

The Icelandic sheep has earned world renown for the quality of its wool while in Iceland sheep are bred mostly for the meat. More than 80% of the income of sheep breeding comes from the meat. The lambs are very small when they are born but they grow quickly and in good pastures they can reach a weight of 36-40 kilos in 4-5 months. These lambs are not fed with artificial feed. After the summer grazing period they are slaughtered. The meat is delicate and very tasty and their products, wool and skins, are of the highest quality.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Roses of Serbia

Serbia Post issued flora stamp series depicted roses on 4 pieces of stamps on June 2006. The issuance stamps are colourful and beautiful excited to everybody for collecting the roses flower. The species of roses depicted are Aqua, Sphink, Vendela, Red-Berlin.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Dog of Belarus 2003.

On September 22, 2003 , Belarus Post issued the breed of dog series stamps features Golden Retriever, German Mastiff, and German Sheepdog.The issuance presented in one set of three stamps, sheetlet and FDC (First Day Cover).


Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is a breed of dog. This dog has a dense inner coat that provides them with adequate warmth. The outer coat is sleek and water repellent, and lays flat against the body. The official colour of the breed is the varying shades of gold that are most often seen.

The Golden Retriever suit well for a variety of roles including guide dog for the blind, hearing dog for deaf people, hunting dog, illegal drug detector, and search and rescue participant. Because of their loyal and gentle temperament, golden retrievers are also popular family pets.

Some variations do exist between the British type Golden Retrievers prevalent throughout Europe and Australia,and those of American lines.The temperament of the Golden Retriever is a hallmark of the breed and is described in the standard as "kindly, friendly and confident".They are not "one man dogs" and are generally equally amiable with both strangers and those familiar to them.


German Mastiff

German Mastiff or The Great Dane also known as Danish Hound is a breed of domestic dog known for its giant size.The breed is commonly referred to as the "Apollo of all breeds". The Great Dane is one of the world's tallest dog breeds, they're sometimes called "The World's Largest Lap Dog".

Breed clubs health surveys in the UK and US put the average life span of Great Danes at 6.5 to 7 years.

The German Mastiff's large and imposing appearance belies its friendly nature; the breed is often referred to as a gentle giant.German Mastiff are generally well-disposed toward other dogs, other non-canine pets and humans, although, when feeling threatened, have been known to attack humans. This is usually brought on by a person that is unfamiliar to the dog.


German Sheepdog is a small-sized dog, with bushy tail carried over the back, small muzzle, and shaggy coat, which is generally black or light fawn. His manner is brisk and affectionate, and his tractability is great, so that he is most useful in his vocation, and as a companionable dog is not excelled.

The sheetlet comprised of 2 set stamps and added another picture of breed dog.


Another issuance is FDC (First day Cover ) and has special post mark of dog head and feature puppy dogs.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Fauna of Armenia- Caucasian Otter and Brown Bear


Armenia Post has issued the sixteenth series of Flora and Fauna features Caucasian otter and Brown Bear on December 16, 2009. The both species are described in the following paragraph are listed in the Armenian Red Book.

Caucasian otter (Lutra Lutra meridionalis), (120),is typical of freshwater otters. It may also be known as the Eurasian river otter, common otter.An otter's diet mainly consists of fish but can also include birds, insects, frogs, crustaceans and sometimes small mammals. In general this opportunism means they may inhabit any unpolluted body of freshwater, including lakes, streams, rivers, and ponds, as long as there is good supply of food. Otters may also live along the coast, in salt water, but require regular access to freshwater to clean their fur. Otters are strongly territorial, living alone for the most part, with individual's home ranges varying between 1-40 km, with about 18 km being usual, depending on the density of food available.

It is in front of the danger of elimination. In Armenia it was met everywhere, from dry subtropics and semi-deserts to forest and mountainous steppes, 550-2100 meters high above the sea level. It settled in fresh- watered reservoirs of all landscape zones. It settled in holes burrowed on the shores of reservoirs and in the cracks of rocks more rarely. Over the last years, its quantity has had a considerable fall, mainly due to the decrease of the level of Lake Sevan,decrease of marshland area and rivers, and general decrease of quality of environment. Other reason is the soiling of rivers and lakes by industrial and agricultural waste which decreases the number of fish in the rivers.

Brown bear (Ursus Arctos Syriacus, (160), is a large bear as member of Brown Bear that occurs in the trans-Caucasus, Syria, Iraq,Turkey (Asia Minor), Iran, Afghanistan, western Himalayas and the Pamir-Alai and Tien Shan mountains.It is a light coloured, moderate to small-sized subspecies with light claws. It can weigh from 300 to 780 kilograms .

It can be met in southeastern part of Armenia. Sometimes it reaches Aragats mountain slopes. It appears 550-2450m high above the sea level.
It lives in deciduous, mixed and juniper forests, rocks, shrubs, caves, ravines and chaotic stone conglomerations. Periodically it rises to small meadows in alpine. Over the last ten years the bear location districts are penetrating into the sphere of the human activity.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Argentina's National Flower Festival

To commemorate the Argentina’s National Flower Festival, Argentine Post has issued two souvenir sheets depicted the beautiful flower species, such as: Rose, Carnation, Gerbera Jamesonii, Lillium and Delphinium on September 27, 2008.


Gerbera jamesonii Bolus or The Gerbera daisy is perennial flower and reproduces asexually.It is a member of the Gerbera genus.This flower was discovered in Barberton, Mpumalanga Province, South Africa (1889) by Robert Jameson.

Cape Jasmine, or Gardenia jasminoides is a shrub with greyish bark and dark green shiny leaves with prominent veins. The white flowers bloom in spring and summer and are highly fragrant. They are followed by small oval fruit.Cape Jasmine derived from the earlier belief that the flower originated in Cape of Good Hope, South Africa.

Rosa or Rose is best known as ornamental plant grown in the garden and sometime indoors.A rose is a perennial plant of the genus Rosa, within the family Rosaceae. There are over 100 species. They form a group of erect shrubs, and climbing or trailing plants, with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles. Flowers are large and showy, in a number of colours from white through yellows and reds. Most species are native to Asia, with smaller numbers native to Europe, North America, and northwest Africa. Species, cultivars and hybrids are all widely grown for their beauty and fragrance.


Carnation,is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 80 cm tall. The leaves are glaucous greyish green to blue-green, slender, up to 15 cm long. The flowers are produced singly or up to five together in a cyme. The flower size are 3–5 cm diameter, and sweetly scented. The original natural flower colour is bright pinkish-purple, but cultivars of other colours, including red, white, yellow and green, have been developed.The flower called as Dianthus caryophyllus or Clove Pink is a species of Dianthus. It is probably native to the Mediterranean region but its exact range is unknown due to extensive cultivation for the last 2,000 years. It is the wild ancestor of the garden Carnation.

Lilium, is a genus of herbaceous flowering plants growing from bulbs. Most species are native to the temperate northern hemisphere. They comprise a genus of about 110 species in the lily family (Liliaceae).They are important as large showy flowering garden plants. Additionally, they are important culturally and in literature in much of the world. Some species are sometimes grown or harvested for the edible bulbs.The large flowers have six tepals. They are often fragrant, and come in a range of colours ranging through whites, yellows, oranges, pinks, reds and purples. Markings include spots and brush strokes. The plants are late spring or summer flowering.

Delfinium, is a genus of about 300 species of perennial flowering plants in the buttercup family Ranunculaceae, native throughout the Northern Hemisphere and also on the high mountains of tropical Africa. The common name, Larkspur, is shared with the closely related genus Consolida.The flower has five petal-like sepals which grow together to form a hollow pocket with a spur at the end, which gives the plant its name.Many species are cultivated as garden plants and for flower arrangements, with numerous cultivars available.All parts of the plant contain an alkaloid delphinine and are very poisonous, causing vomiting when eaten, and death in larger amounts.

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