Sunday, 3 February 2013

Come Closer

2000: Millennium Projects: Mind and Matter

Giantiops Destructor is smiling for the camera. Even in real life and not under the microscope this ant has massive eyes. It can be found in the Amazon jungle along with another 1000 species of ant. If you are thinking of visiting;  here are some other species your may find. Despite its rather bold name this ant does not sting and is described as "skittish and timid".

The stamp celebrates the Wildscreen at Bristol, the museum to the BBC's Natural History Unit (whose films have been entertaining and amazing us for decades).  It has an IMAX screen, electronic zoo and a place where this little fellow would be at home, the tropical house.   With large digital and wildlife archives it has been called a "modern day Noah's Ark"

For many centuries the ant has been a symbol of thrift and industry. The Greek's have used it on this stamp
Carpenter Ants
to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Post Office Savings Bank.  The stamp was issued in 1965 so at the present time it has been going for over a hundred years, but with a name change -  TT Hellenic Postbank. It would seem that they have used the ant as a symbol for some times as this old poster shows one  rolling a drachma

Are you ready for another close up?

This first day cover stamp shows a blow fly (Caliphora erythiocephala) with their shiny metallic cases they are often called by their colour such as bluebottle.  Somehow I think that the other stamps in this set commemorating the Royal Microscopical Society such as a pretty snowflake may have more attraction.  On the other hand I do like the use of the Fruit Fly as the cover photo because scientists having been using this species for a hundred years to understand genetics and evolution. 

I think I'm ready for something prettier
I would love to see those wings under an electron microscope but am quite content  to anticipate the joy of seeing the first butterfly of the year.
2008 PHQ Card 310
Lastly England's rarest beetle, its decline is attributed to the the reduction of coppicing in woodland but the Hazel Pot Beetle is reported to be making a comeback. 

25% of all species in the world are beetles and 40% of insects are beetles, it is estimated that there are at least million different types, some have put it higher. One of my favourite stories is of the great biologist JBS Haldane (1892-1964) who when asked by some theologians what could be inferred about the mind of the Creator from the works of his creation replied "An inordinate fondness for beetles".

An entry to Viridian Postcard's Sunday Stamps theme of - INSECTS


Marcie said...

The first one looks really scary...brrr..

Ana said...

if it wasnt for the explanation, I would have thought the first stamp shows some sort of a pottery vessel or an armour shield...poor creature :)
the butterfly is definitely the most to like :)

Bob Scotney said...

I'm pleased to see the humble ant get an airing. I'd never see that Hazel Pot Beetle - either on that stamp or one alive.

Lisa B said...

the first stamp is brilliant! I missed seeing those. I remember the microscope set now, but hadn't thought about them for today's theme.

viridian said...

That first insect (at that scale) could be in a science fiction movie. Oh, and I am most familiar with your version of the JBS Haldane quote. Only after I checked on wiki quote did I find it was different. Thank you for joining in this week.

Scriptor Senex said...

As an entomologist (amateur) and postcard collector (which automatically brings stamps into focus) I loved this post - thanks.

Sheila @ A Postcard a Day said...

A sharp intake of breath! Look at its teeth! I don't care how timid it is.

VioletSky said...

If only ants weren't so numerous and annoying, they might be appreciated more!

♥♥ Willa ♥♥ said...

Ant,what an amazing creatures!

Willa @ Postage Journal:My Sunday Stamps:Insects

agi said...

i think the close-ups are amazing! it shows just how intricate these tiny creatures are...:)

Helen said...

Great choices, Joy. I love the microscopical society cover. Fantastic! Bugs are so fascinating seen close up. Definitely the stuff of horror movies!