Name of issue: Scorpions of Namibia
Number of arachnid related stamps in issue: 4/4
Information from the postal services booklet (please note that the information about the animals may or may not be accurate, I am simply re-typing the information).
Scorpions are truly amazing and special creatures, often feared and misunderstood by people. They belong to the class Arachnida and order Scorpiones. Southern Africa alone has more than 130 species, with a few endemic species belonging to Namibia alone; such as the Parabuthus namibensis, depicted on one of the stamps featured in this series.
Habitat destruction and over-utilization, as well as fear and ignorance are just some of tthe threats to scorpions in the wild.
The aim of this series is to create awereness of these truly unique creatures and to showcase their beauty and diversity.
It is the largest Parabuthus species in the world, at 18 cm, very hairy, pitch black to brown with yellow legs. Parabuthus villosus are found in rocky areas in the early morning and late afternoon. They can also be found under rock and log scrapes and at times under loose bark of fallen trees. A sting from this species could be life-threatening. It is found in the entire western portion of namibia, Spitzkoppe, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay region, Windhoek and the Orange River.
Small vertebrates and reptiles, mammals and frogs if given the opportunity, are its prey. It drinks fog water from the stems of plants, gathering droplets with its claws.
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Parabuthus villosus (Peters, 1862)
Opistophthalmus carinatus is most commonly referred to as the African Yellow Leg Scorpion and is a species of burrowing Opistophthalmus scorpion. They are up to 11 cm long, large and robust and with powerful pincers. There are 50 species of Africa Burrowing scorpions ranging throughout the southern and eastern third of Africa. These scorpions are obligate burrowers, prefering fairly hard packed soils in which they can dig relatively long, deep tunnels. In the Kalahari Desert they can be found under large calcrete stones or dead vegetation.
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Opistophthalmus carinatus (Peters 1861)
Hottentotta arenaceus are up to 4,3 cm long and pale orange-yellow in color. The southern-most population is slightly darker. They construct burrows up to 10 cm deep, usually at the base of bushes in sandy soil. Males wander around at night and take refuge under bushes in sandy soil. Males wander around at night and take refuge under bushes when the sun rises. Females usually stay uner the cover of vegetation.
They are common in southern central Namibia such as Fish River Canyon, Helmeringhausen Keetmanshhop, Quiver Tree Forest and extending as far north as Mariental. They lie in wait for insects and spiders on vegetation or forages on bushes.
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Hottentotta arenaceus (Purcell, 1902)
They are pale in color, with the last 2 tail segments and sting black and with a maximum size of 10 cm. Little is known of the favoured habitats of the Parabuthus namibensis, but they have been observed on gravel plains in sandy, gritty regions where they excavate their burrows.
They are found in central and northern Namibia, coastal areas such as Swakopmund and Henties Bay, extending to the Cape Cross area. They feed on spiders and insects and are endemic to Namibia.
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Parabuthus namibensis Lamoral, 1979
First Day Cover:
Opistophthalmus flavescens (first day cover design)
This scorpion can grow up to 9.5 cm in length. The body is shiny in appearance and the mesosoma is generally dark compared to the carapace. Opistophthalmus flavenscens construct burrows from 30 to 50 cm deep in fortified vegetation growing in sand dunes. It is found in the southern Namib desert sand systems from Lüderitz to Walvis Bay. It would feed on any insect, spider or scorpion it can overpower, pincers flexed at the ready.
Crop from FDC:
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Opistophthalmus flavescens (Purcell, 1898)
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