An Post issued eight stamps for its Irish Animals and Marine Life definitive series, illustrating Ireland’s biodiversity from the seabed to the mountain top. Biodiversity is an all-encompassing term used to describe the variety of all life and natural processes on Earth.
The species featured on these stamps are; the Beadlet Anemone, the Squat Lobster, the Cuckoo Wrasse and the Common Frog.
Most anemones cannot survive out of water, but the Beadlet Anemone can do so, provided it stays damp. At low tide, this anemone can be found on rocky shores with its tentacles retracted, looking like a blob of red or green jelly.
Squat Lobsters are decapod crustaceans of the families Galatheidae, Chirostylidae and Kiwaidae, including the common genera Galathea and Munida and there are about 870 known species. They are not true lobsters but rather more closely related to hermit crabs and porcelain crabs.
The Cuckoo Wrasse is undoubtedly the most spectacularly coloured fish found in Irish waters. They are strong swimmers and like to wedge themselves into rock crevices to foil a sea angler. Cuckoo Wrasse live off mussels and other shellfish.
The Common Frog is found in countryside and urban garden ponds and in a range of habitats from lowland farmland to mountain bog and forestry plantations.
The species featured on these stamps are; the Green Huntsman, the Elephant Hawk-moth, the Goldfinch and the Red Deer.
The Green Huntsman spider is of the family Sparassidae. It does not build a web, and hunts insects in green vegetation, where it is well camouflaged. Many huntsman spiders have rather flattened bodies adapted for living in narrow spaces under loose bark or rock crevices.
The Elephant Hawk-moth has many fascinating features including its size and its captivating vibrant pink colour. It lives in woodland clearings, in gardens, and around waste grounds, but is often found in flower gardens, usually feeding near fuchsias.
The Goldfinch is one of Ireland’s most widespread garden birds. It is brightly-coloured and has become a familiar sight at garden nut feeders in recent years.
The Red Deer has a rich red coloured coat, darkening down to a greyish brown in winter. A mature stag carries a large rack of antlers, which are at peak condition in the early autumn for the rut, when they are used for bouts of sparring between rivals.
Title: Irish Animals & Marine Life
Date of Issue: 21 July 2011
Denominations: 55c x 8