Sunday, June 22, 2008

Taiwan Stag Beetles FDC

Taiwan FDC
Name: Stag Beetles of Taiwan
Date of Issue: 05 June 2008
Number: Sp.520

Belonging to the family Lucanidae, order Coleoptera, and class Insecta, stag beetles have large heads and flat bodies. They are called "shovel-shaped bugs" in Chinese because their elytra look like shovels. In order to further understand about stag beetles, this Post is issuing a set of four stamps featuring four endemic species of Taiwan: Neolucanus swinhoei Bates, Dorcus schenklingi Möllenkamp, Lucanus datunensis Hashimoto and Cyclommatus asahinai Y. Kurosawa. The stamps were planned by Mr. Yang Ping-shih, a professor of the Department of Entomology, National Taiwan University.

Neolucanus swinhoei Bates
Neolucanus swinhoei Bates is found in the mountain areas of the island. They have glossy black heads and nota, and most of them have reddish orange elytra. Males have serrated mandibles with five to seven minute teeth on the inner edges. They like to suck the sap of ring-cupped oaks and tangerine trees. They are typical diurnal stag beetles, and are rarely attracted to light at night.

NT$5.00: Dorcus schenklingi Möllenkamp
Dorcus schenklingi Möllenkamp is found in the mountain areas of the island. The color of their bodies is black. In larger males, there is an obvious tooth in the middle of their mandibles and a hook-like tooth at the tips. They like to suck the sap of ring-cupped oaks, cork oaks, Castanopsis fargesii and Arishan oaks. Dorcus schenklingi Möllenkamp is a rare and valuable species and is protected in Taiwan. It is against the law to catch beetles of this species from the wild to keep as pets.

NT$10.00: Lucanus datunensis Hashimoto
Lucanus datunensis Hashimoto is only found in Mt. Datun in northern Taiwan. Males are usually reddish brown with short thick mandibles that bend slightly inwards and are forked at the tips. Their matt elytra have black seams. Females are fewer in number. They have darker coloration and their elytra are glossy. As a diurnal stag beetle, this species is not attracted to light at night.

NT$12.00: Cyclommatus asahinai Y. Kurosawa
Cyclommatus asahinai Y. Kurosawa is found in the mountain areas of the island. Males are glossy and tan in color. Larger males have mandibles that are forked at the tips. Each of their mandibles has an obvious tooth at the base and a smaller one in the middle. They are attracted to light at night.

Comment: There are nine stag beetles on this FDC, I think the European Magpie is very exciting. What a delicious feast! lol

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