VP9GE

Bermuda

 
VP9GE
   Ed Kelly

P.O. Box 1555, Hamilton HM FX, Bermuda
Voice: 441-293-2525 Fax: 441-295-3559
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SEASHELLS DEFINITIVE SERIES PART I

The Islands of Bermuda rise from the Atlantic nearly 700 miles from the East Coast of the United States.  The 21 square mile land mass enjoys a sub-tropical climate and is home to the northernmost coral colonies in the world.

Bermuda, the oldest and most populous of the remaining British Colonies, with its reefs and beaches washed by the Atlantic Gulf Stream, is the habitat of thousands of marine invertebrates. This stamp series concentrates on the Class Gastropoda (Snails) and a clam of the Class Bivalvia that are native to Bermuda.

Dr. Wolfgang Sterrer reports in Marine Fauna and Flora of Bermuda, “all three subclasses of Gastropoda are represented in Bermuda waters. Of 39,000 marine gastropod species, approximately 375 have been reported (and another 50 collected but not positively identified) from Bermuda”.

Bermuda Conchologist ‘Jack’ Lightbourn collected the specimens photographed for the stamps between 1936 and 1986.

Please consult the Endangered Animals and Plants Act 1976 before collecting, exporting or importing seashells.

5c – Slit Worm Shell Siliquaria squamata Blainville, 1827, 67 mm

Family: Siliquariidae

These long, slender coiling shells grow in clumps or attach themselves singly to shells or rocks. The specimen on the stamp was dredged from 92 meters of water off the South Shore in 1973.

10c – Netted Olive Oliva circinata Marratt, 56 mm

Family: Olividae

Shells in this family are known as ‘olives’ because of their usual cylindrical, squat shape.  The shells are thick and quite glossy due to the animal living in sand.  Olives are carnivorous and feed mostly at night. They are found on sand flats in depths to 30 metres.

35c – Noble Wentletrap Sthenorytis pernobilis (Fischer & Bernardi, 1857), 46 mm

Family: Epitoniidae

This beautiful, rare shell is found in depths of 100 to 1,600 metres of water. Wentletraps are popular with collectors because of their intricate ribbing. Epitoniidae belong to the same order (Heterogastropoda) as Janthinidae (on 80c stamp to be issued in Part II). This particular specimen was found at a depth of 350 metres off Castle Roads in 1979.

45c – Zigzag Scallop Pecten ziczac (L., 1758), 48 mm

Family: Pectinidae

The Zigzag is one of a large family that is popular both as food and as a collector’s item. Some species are capable of swimming by snapping their valves. The design differs on opposite valves. Scallops can be found in both warm and cold waters. The specimen shown was found in 1982 on a sandy, grassy bottom in three metres of water.

50c – Bermuda Cone Conus mindanus Hwass, 1792, 57 mm

Family: Conidae

Over 600 cone species are known but there is some duplication due to variations in colour, patterns and sizes. Cones live in sand and gravel under 3 to 9 metres of water. This cone was originally named Conus bermudensis Clench, 1942, and thought to be unique to Bermuda. The poison of some cones may be lethal to humans. The eggs of the cone are deposited in small purse-shaped capsules.

$8 – Sunrise Tellin Tellina radiata L., 1758, 80 mm

Family: Tellinidae

This family of colourful shells consists of thin, oval clams and are found in most parts of the world. The species found in the shallow waters of Bermuda are quite colourful. Tellin live under 15 to 45 cm of clean sand and, while quite tasty, are not commonly used for food. The specimen was found off the West End in 1974.

First Day Cover – Lightbourn’s Murex Pterynotus lightbourni Harasewych & Jensen, 1979, 38 mm. This rare, delicate Bermuda seashell was crabbed in 1977 in 400 metres of water south east of Gurnet Rock. During the next fourteen years only ten more specimens were found. Of  these only three were of gem quality.

Acknowledgements to Mr. ‘Jack’ Lightbourn who provided the shell specimens. Also to Mr Lightbourn and K. Ed Kelly for liner information.

TECHNICAL DETAILS

Designer………………………………………………………………………………..Sheila Semos

Digital Photography…………………………………………………………………….K. Ed Kelly

Stamp Size & Perforation…………………….28.42 mm x 42.50 mm with 14 perforations per 2 cms

Values………………………………………………………………..……5c, 10c, 35c, 45c, 50c, $8

Release Date…………………………………………………………………………..20th June 2002

Continued ......... Series II

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