Poland provides a close-up view of spiders on four stamps issued Nov. 29. Figure 1 shows the four stamps. Each pictures a photograph of an adult and juvenile spider. According to the Polish post office, Poczta Polska, these spiders are protected in Poland.
Starting in the upper left, the first stamp depicts the yellow and black wasp spider (Argiope bruennichi). In this species, the female is much larger than the male, approximately 11 millimeters to 15mm compared to 4mm to 4.5mm.
Wasp spiders eat beetles, flying insects and grasshoppers, and the female also occasionally eats her mate.
The spider shown on the stamp in the upper right is called the ladybird or ladybug spider because the male is orange or red with black dots. The scientific name of this velvet spider is Ereus kollari.
A female jumping spider (Philaeus chrysops) is pictured on the stamp at lower left.
The male of this species has an orange abdomen with a long black stripe, for which it has received the nickname golden eye.
The stamp at lower right features a nocturnal spider (Atypus muralis) that can be found in grasslands and steppes in southeastern Poland, as well as in other countries of central and southeastern Europe and Turkmenistan.
Jacek Konarzewksi designed the stamps. Poland’s stamp printing office printed them by a combination of offset and seriography (screen printing) in sheets of eight.
Poczta Polska produced first-day covers featuring spider webs.
Australia Post conveys romance through a rose and hearts on its two Love stamps issued Feb. 4.
Figure 2 shows the 60¢ stamp depicting a pink rose. The other stamp, also denominated 60¢, shows hearts in different shades of pink.
Australia Post printed the Rose stamp in booklets of 20 and the Hearts stamp in booklets of 10. In addition, a sheet of 10 has the two stamps se-tenant (side-by-side).
Another product combines the Heart stamp and a 2013 Love stamp showing a heart-shaped rose petal with labels picturing characters from the popular mobile phone game Angry Birds.
Australia Post calls this an “Angry Birds Valentine’s Day stamp pack.”
In the press announcement, no mention is made of the connection between Angry Birds and Valentine’s Day.
Melinda Coombes and Andrew Hogg designed the two new Love stamps. Lisa Christensen was the product designer.