Monday, February 11, 2008

Hawai'i Post (2006)

Date of issue: March 11th, 2006
Name of issue: Native insects of the Hawaiian Islands

Number of arachnid related stamps in issue: 1/3

I was doing a Google search for the 600th time on the subject and for the first time, it turned out this stamps series. I was very intrigued and excited to find something I never heard about.

It first, I thought it was another "cinderella" stamp, but it turns out those stamps are fully legit.

Please visit the website of Hawai'i Post to learn more about these stamps.

They have allowed me to copy some of the information on my blog. Here a few relevant details taken from their FAQ section:

Q. How is it legal for you to issue stamps. I thought that only the U.S. Post Office could issue stamps in the U.S.A. ?

A. It is perfectly legal for us to issue stamps. They prepay a service that we provide. We operate under the exemption to the U.S. Private Express Statutes that allows urgent mail. Many other local posts exist or have existed in the U.S.A. We are not the first, nor the last.

Q. What determines the denominations on the stamps ?

A. The denominations on the stamps we issue reflect the actual cost of our services. We operate under the exemption to the U.S. Private Express Statutes that allows urgent mail. This federal law requires a minimum of $3 per delivery and only allows same day or overnight delivery. The $3 minimum rate was set by law many years ago. Our pick-up and delivery rates are very reasonable when compared to other express mail companies. By law, we can only deliver express mail and not regular mail. For example, we could issue a 44c stamp but it would be illegal for us to deliver a regular letter with it.

You can find more information about this series and buy it here. Here is the relevant information about the spider stamp:

The $8 stamp in the triptych (above right) prepays the Same Day rate. It shows the Hawaiian Happy Face Spider (Theridion grallator). It is native to Hawai'i and the Hawaiian name is "Nananana makaki`i". It has what looks like a Happy Face. They are actually markings on it's body and not connected to it's face. The image on the stamp does not have enough room to show the very long front legs on this spider. It is found mainly on the Big Island on the undersides of leaves in rainforests. It hunts primarily at night for small insects. The happy face pattern is very variable with many different patterns. These variable patterns are thought by many entomologists to be a defensive mechanism to confuse their predators, mainly birds.

Michel#: none - local only
order: Araneae
family: Theridiidae
Theridion grallator Simon, 1900

The complete triptych: the outer edges of the triptych are perforated (perf 12). The two vertical divisions between the 3 stamps in the triptych are rouletted (roulette 5).

There is also a $8 minisheet (above) that prepays the Same Day rate. It shows the same Hawaiian Insects, but in one design with no perforations or roulettes.

Other stamps of this series: