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TARANTULAS

tarantule_MThe spring of this year comes with a première in the Romanian philately, namely, the launching by Romfilatelia of the first postage stamps issue illustrating Tarantulas.The spring of this year comes with a première in the Romanian philately, namely, the launching by Romfilatelia of the first postage stamps issue illustrating Tarantulas.

Tarantulas are hairy spiders of considerable sizes, living in a large variety of habitats, from the desert to the tropical rainforest. According to their lifestyle, tarantulas can be divided into two main categories: terrestrial and arboreal. Commonly, they feed on insects and other arthropods, but big-size individuals may hunt even lizards, mice and even birds, a reason for which they are scientifically named Avicularia. Males live less than females. Lately, tarantulas have also been cherished as pets; nevertheless, their handling requires a lot of attention.

Brachypelma Albopilosum (The Curly Hair Tarantula) is illustrated on the postage stamp with the face value of RON 0.50.

It is a terrestrial tarantula, its size being of 12-14 cm, it is brownish and its stomach and hairs are silverish. It lives in the mountain areas of Central America. Young tarantulas feed on crickets and other small insects, while the adults feed on beetles, small lizards, baby mice or even adult mice.

Haplopelma Lividum (The Cobalt Blue Tarantula) is illustrated on the postage stamp with the face value of RON 0.80.

This tarantula lives in Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. It is a digging species. At first impression it appears to be black, but in an appropriate light it shows a blue color. It is a lively species, quick and aggressive towards its prey. Having the size of 10 up to 13 cm, it weaves large web mats. Usually, it feeds on small insects and when it grows, it feeds on beetles and big-size insects.

Brachypelma Smithi (The Mexican Red Knee Tarantula) is illustrared on the postage stamp with the face value of RON 1.20.

It was discovered in 1888 by the well-known tarantula collector H.H. Smith. It is one of the most longeval species, the female living even 30 years. It is terrestrial, its size is of 12-14 cm and lives in Mexic. Like most tarantulas, young individuals feed on crickets and small insects and the adults feed on small lizards and mice.

Grammostola Rosea (The Chilean Rose Tarantula) is illustrated on the postage stamp with the face value of RON 9.10.

It is a species that has two types of color: a brownish one with pink hairs and the other one with red hairs all over the body. Its size is of 12-14 cm and it can be found in Chile but also in Argentina and Bolivia. It feeds on small insects, and when it becomes adult, on small lizards and every once in a while on a baby mouse.

We warmly thank the “Grigore Antipa” Museum of Natural History for the specialised consultancy granted in the accomplishment of this postage stamps issue.

Issue date: 2010-02-19

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