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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Beetles on new postage stamps by Taiwan

Taiwan Post is issuing a second set of four stamps, featuring long-horned beetles - Aeolesthes oenochrous, Doliops similis, Thermistis taiwanensis, and Dorysthenes pici.

The designs follow:

Aeolesthes oenochrous (NT$1.00): Commonly known as the Wu-she blood-spotted long-horned beetle in English, the body of this large beetle is densely covered with shiny red hairs. The last three segments of the male's back-sweeping antennae extend beyond the tips of its elytra, whereas the female's antennae are shorter than its body. It is found in broad-leaved forests between 600 and 1,500 meters above sea level in mid and northern Taiwan, as well as in China.

Doliops similis (NT$3.50): This species is a mimic of the hard-shelled Pachyrrhynchus. This attractive beetle has a black body covered with iridescent blue markings. It has large femurs and tarsi. An endemic species of Taiwan, it can only be found on Orchid Island.

Thermistis taiwanensis (NT$10.00): This beetle has a black body, with a yellow blotch on the front of its head, a yellow band on each side of its pronotum, and tubercles on the outer edges of the pronotum. Its elytra are black with yellow bands. Its antennae are black. Its femurs are yellow and the remainder of its legs and claws are black. Endemic to Taiwan, this species is found in broad-leaved forests between 1,200 and 1,500 meters above sea level.

Dorysthenes pici (NT$32.00): It has a dark brown, almost black body and a very developed mandible. There are two serrations on its pronotal edge. The male's antennae extend over half way down its elytra, whereas the female's only reach the length of one third of its elytra. Endemic to Taiwan, the species is found in broad-leaved forests between 300 and 1,400 meters above sea level in northern Taiwan.