Thursday, 31 January 2008

Lunar New Year - China

I received this fabulous cover from a correspondence in China (Yang Chou). The cover was postmarked on 22 January 2008 and framed with four zodiac stamps (the single stamp was released on 5 January 2008) and a definitive (regular) stamp showing paper cutting. The cover itself has a paper cutting showing an image of rat (Year of Rat). It is absolutely a gorgeous cover...... The Year of Rat starts on 7 February 2008 and ends on 25 January 2009.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Dragonflies of Malaysia 09

Aethriamanta gracilis
There are a few dragonfly species with blue abdomen. One of these is Aethriamanta gracilis. Aethriamanta gracilis can be distinguished from the other blue dragonfly species by having open venation on its wings. However, the dragonfly image shown in the stamp is not accurate in the characteristics of the wing venation (the venation looks very close), of which it could be misidentified as other blue dragonfly species such as Brachydiplax chalybea, Brachydiplax farinosa or Brachydiplax sobrina.

Lathrecista asiatica
Lathrecista asiatica is a medium size dragonfly species. The red abdomen and blue thorax are particular elegant. It is commonly found at forest margins. The male and female individuals have similar marking on their bodies.

Malaysia - Stamp Issuing Programme 2008

Malaysia postal authority (Pos Malaysia) finally came out with the stamp issuing programme for 2008 a couple of days ago. It is a bit inefficient for Pos Malaysia to announce her issuing programme at this late stage (almost the end of January). For any good and well planned postal authority, the stamp issuing programme should be announced before the start of a new year. Anyway, here is the tentative stamp issuing programme for 2008 from Pos Malaysia:

Updated on 5 December, 2008
1. Historical Bridges - 28.2.2008
2. Nocturnal Animals - 13.3.2008
3. Astronaut - 25.3.2008 (changed to National Angkasawan Programme, and new date is 21.10.2008)
4. Royal Headgears - 9.4.2008
(date changed to 16.9.2008)
5. Butterflies - 24.4.2008
6. 100th Anniv. of St. John's Ambulance - 22.5.2008
7. Cultural Instruments and Artifacts - 10.6.2008
8. Literary Figures of Malaysia - 26.6.2008 (cancelled)
9. Birds of Malaysia - 8.7.2008 (cancelled)
10. 50th Anniv. of Sultan Kedah - 15.7.2008
11. Dragon Boat World Competition - 8.8.2008 (new date: 1.8.2008)
11a. 100 Years of Scout - August 2008 (new entry; confirmed date: 14.8.2008)

12. Visual Arts Heritage - 28.8.2008
13. Premier Schools - 23.9.2008 (cancelled) [reinstated; new issue date: 16.12.2008]
14. Cartoon - 9.10.2008 (new date: 11.11.2008; this issue is now listed as Malaysian Cartoon Series I - Lat [Stamp Week 2008]) [changed to another date - 1.12.2008]
15. Joint Issue with Iran - 30.10.2008 (cancelled)
16. Unique Flowers (Stamp Week 2008) - 11.11.2008 (new date: 9.10.2008; this issue is no longer an issue for Stamp Week 2008)

17. Razaksat - 2.12.2008 (cancelled)
18. Sea Shells - 23.12.2008 (new date: 27.11.2008)
[changed to another date - 11.11.2008]

A total of 18 issues (15 issues only after some withdraws and new entries) are planned for year 2008. The first issue will only be out at the end of February...... a two-month gap.......The bird issue in July (this issue has been cancelled) should be interesting for many bird stamp collectors. The butterfly issue (in April) is nice too. The Malaysia-Iran joint (this issue has been cancelled) will also be interesting. I was just wondering what topic is going to be depicted in this joint issue. Another interesting issue is cartoon (in October). No detailed info for this issue so far, but many collectors in Malaysia anticipate the art work of Lat (well known Malaysian cartoonist) will appear in the issue. Sea shell issue is also exciting issue because it is the first time for Pos Malaysia to issue this theme. Hey, how about dragon boat issue (in August)........ well, I think this issue will definitely attract collectors from Far East Asia and Southeast Asia. Anyway, the above schedule is a tentative one, and Pos Malaysia is notoriously known for changing the schedule frequently. I shall update the release schedule from time to time.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

State Definitives - Lotus Flower

The latest state definitive stamps of Malaysia released on 31 December 2007 are beautiful and elegant. A total of 84 stamps were issued - 6 different values for each of the 14 states/territories. There are some changes on the head of state and emblem of state on these stamps. Two states (Perlis and Selangor) have seen the newly crowned heads of state appeared on the stamps while the emblem of Sabah state has been reverted to the old version (two hands holding a flag). Also on this definitive series, Negeri Sembilan state definitives look a bit different from the traditional ones. The head of state of Negeri Sembilan for the very first time appears on the state definitives. The previous few series of state definitives for Negeri Sembilan only showed the state emblem (without the head of state).

The smallest denomination of these stamps is 5 sen with an image of lotus. The scientific name of lotus inscribed in the stamps is Nelumbium nelumbo. However, the scientific name Nelumbium nelumbo (L.) Druce (1913) is a synonym to Nelumbo nucifera Gaertner (1788). According to rules in botanical nomenclature, the current correct name for lotus should be Nelumbo nucifera because this name was introduced earlier than Nelumbium nelumbo (Nelumbo nucifera was introduced in 1788 while Nelumbium nelumbo was in 1913).

Johor; Kedah; Kelantan

Melaka; Negeri Sembilan; Pahang

Perak; Perlis; Pulau Pinang

Sabah; Sarawak; Selangor

Terengganu; Wilayah Persekutuan

Dragonflies of Malaysia 08

Ictinogomphus decoratus
Ictinogomphus decoratus is a large dragonfly species in the family of Gomphidae. It is the most common Gomphidae species in Malaysia. This dragonfly species has strong wings and you can hear the wing beats when it flies passing you. It is normally found at slow flowing muddy stream. The male and female individuals have similar marking on their bodies.

Orthetrum sabina
Orthetrum sabina is a medium size dragonfly species. It is normally found at degraded open habitats. The male and female individuals have similar marking on their bodies.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Dragonflies of Malaysia 07

Brachythemis contaminata
Brachythemis contaminata is a brownish orange colour dragonfly species commonly found at open weedy ponds or lakes. The wings are partially in orange colour.

Pseudothemis jorina
Pseudothemis jorina is rather an active dragonfly species. It patrols unstoppingly lakes, ponds and slow flowing rivers. Therefore, taking a good photography on this species is most likely impossible....... However, it could be easily identified by its unmistakable marking on its abdomen even in flying.

Monday, 14 January 2008

A Cover from France 02

I received this simple and nice cover a couple of days ago from Daniel. The cancellation of the cover is a bit different from those covers that I received before. I normally received handstamped covers from LA POSTE, but this time a machine cancellation. Date: 19 December 2007.

Friday, 11 January 2008

Dragonflies of Malaysia 06

Orthetrum glaucum
Orthetrum glaucum is considered a large size dragonfly species. Immature individual has yellowish marking on body but the mature individual develops blue marking. It is commonly found at disturbed open habitats.

Acisoma panorpoides
Acisoma panorpoides is a small size dragonfly species. Its unique blue marking (male) makes it conspicious. The female is rather in greenish yellow. It is normally found at open grassy ponds, marshes and open swamps.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Dragonflies of Malaysia 05

Rhyothemis phyllis
Rhyothemis phyllis is particularly unique. I quite like its colour pattern on wings - looks like strips of tiger! This species is quite common at open and exposed aquatic habitats such as marshes, paddy fields and weedy poods. You will frequently see them hovering over the sky under the sun. The male and female of R. phyllis have similar colour pattern on wings.

Rhyothemis obsolescens
Rhyothemis obsolescens somehow is less common compared to R. phyllis, but it normally shares habitat with R. phyllis. R. obsolescens has beautiful dark brown colour wings, of which making this specis easily be identified. The male and female are not much different from each other for their colour pattern on wings. Male individual may have more coloured area on wings than the female.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Dragonflies of Malaysia 04

Neurobasis chinensis
Prehaps one of the most spectacular dragonfly species in Malaysia is Neurobasis chinensis. It has a pair of metalic green hind wings, and it looks like a butterfly from far when in flight. N. chinensis is rather a damselfly than a dragonfly. The odonatologist Lieftinck described this damselfly as one of the "Birds of Paradise amongst Odonata". The male individual has metalic green hind wings while the female lacks of this character. This damselfly species is strictly found in clear flowing streams in forest. Both the male and female N. chinensis are shown in the dragonfly stamps issued by Pos Malaysia.

The top one is a male individual and the bottom one is a female individual.

The top one is a male individual and the bottom one is a female individual.

Dragonflies of Malaysia 03

Diplacodes nebulosa
Diplacodes nebulosa is a small size greyish blue dragonfly commonly found at marshes and weedy ponds. The wing tips for both the fore and hind wings (for male) are tinted in dark colour. However, the female lacks this characteristic and the colour of the body is yellowish olive.

Neurothemis tullia
Neutothemis tullia is another small dragonfly species. The black and white colour on wings (in male) is particular striking, a conspicious dragonfly species indeed. The wing colour pattern of the female is different from that of the male. N. tullia normally shares same habitats as Diplacodes nebulosa. The species name on the stamp is wrongly spelt (tulia).

Monday, 7 January 2008

Dragonflies of Malaysia 02

Trithemis aurora
Trithemis aurora is a strikingly beautiful dragonfly. Its pink coloured body is particularly sexy. It is commonly found at distrubed area such as weedy pond and lake. The male individual has pink colour on its body, but the female is rather dull with yellowish brown.

Rhyothemis triangularis
I particularly like this metalic blue Rhyothemis triangularis. It is found at water body at the forest edge. The wing bases and the whole body are in metalic blue - an unmistakable species. The male and female individuals have similar blue marking on wings and body.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Dragonflies of Malaysia 01

Pos Malaysia released some beautiful dragonfly stamps on 25 November 2000. Altogether 25 stamps were issued in a format of sheetlet. A stamp booklet containing 10 different stamps (different from those in the sheetlet) was issued along with the sheetlet. The 25-stamp sheetlet was available in perforated and imperforated formats. I am going to tell you about these beautiful dragonfly stamps including dragonfly photos I captured myself in a series of write up..............

Neurothemis fluctuans
Neurothemis fluctuans is one of the most common dragonflies in Malaysia. It is found almost everywhere except undisturbed forest. It red coloured wings (male individual) is particularly prominent and one can easily identify it. However, the female N. fluctuans is rather dull in colour (yellowish brown), and its wings is transparent or hyaline (not red in colour).

Neurothemis fulvia

Neurothemis fulvia resembles N. fluctuans for having red coloured wings. However, the former can be distingiushed by having smaller hyaline area at the wing tips, particularly on the hind wing. N. fulvia is less common compared to N. fluctuans, and it is normally found in forest or edge of forest. The male and female N. fulvia have similar red colour pattern on wings. N. fulvia is slightly larger than N. fluctuans in size.

Friday, 4 January 2008

Malaysia New State Definitives

Malaysia released her last state definitive stamp series (Agro-based Products) in 1986! It was indeed a long due for Pos Malaysia to phase out the Agro-based Products state definitives and re-issue a new series. Actually, Pos Malaysia had long been planning to do it since 2002. After a few times of postponement, the new state definitive stamp series finally came into light on 31 December 2007. I could not believe it as it was released on the last day of year 2007! The layout design of the new definitve series resembles the previous one (agro-based products) but the motif for the new one is garden flowers. Six garden flowers have been chosen for this new series i.e. lotus (5 sen), Hydrangea macrophylla (10 sen), red lily (20 sen), Baugainvillea (30 sen), Ipomoea indica (40 sen) and Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (50 sen). As usual, there are 14 states (Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Pulau Pinang, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor, Terengganu and Wilayah Persekutuan) for this state definitive series, totalling up 84 stamps altogether. Showing below are the six different denominations for Selangor state.

A cover from Italy

Received this simple and clear cover from Leonardo (Italy) on 20 December 2007.

Portugal ATM - Parrot

Very nice ATMs with parrot motif from Portugal. The ATMs were released on 18 July 2005.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Malaysia Postmarks 009

Bidor, Perak. Date: 2 June 2003.

Ranau M, Sabah. Date: 10 May 2004.

Rumah Persekutuan, Sandakan M, Sabah. Date: 28 December 2006.

Parit M, Perak. Date 8 May 2003.