Monday, 31 December 2012

Dragonflies of Malaysia 10 - Revisit

I showed a stamp depicting Trithemis festiva (see stamp image below) a few years ago. You may click here to view the post entry.

Actually, in Malaysia Trithemis festiva and Indothemis limbata are very close to each other (see the two photos below). It is quite difficult for laymen to tell them apart. However, there are a few characteristics to identify them. Trithemis festiva has orange colour strips on dorsal of its abdomen (not so in Indothemis limbata). On the other hand, Indothemis limbata has dark wing tips (not so in Trithemis festiva). So, the dark wing tips and abdominal orange strips are normally used to identify these two species in the field.

Trithemis festiva

Indothemis limbata

Having said that, now we are back to the Trithemis festiva stamp (see the stamp image above). Do you notice the orange colour strips on the abdomen of the dragonfly? Yes, it has the orange strips, and this is a characteristic of Trithemis festiva. Wait a minute, do you also notice the dark wing tips of the dragonfly? Yes, it has dark wing tips, and this is a characteristic of Indothemis limbata. I am really confused now.........

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Dragonflies of Malaysia 014

Aristocypha fenestrella, Heliocypha biforata and Heliocypha perforata

In Peninsular Malaysia, three damselfly species, Aristocypha fenestrella, Heliocypha biforata and Heliocypha perforata, are very close to each other in morphology. Most of the time, laymen just could not tell them apart. If one pays enough attention, however, these three damselfly species are quite distinctive (see photos below).

The colour patches of the wings for these three species are different. Aristocypha fenestrella and Heliocypha perforata have wings with more extensive colour patches, but not so in Heliocypha biforata. The colour markings on abdomen and thorax among them are also quite different. Aristocypha fenestrella has dark abdomen and yellow marking on thorax; Heliocypha biforata has dark abdomen and blue-pink marking on thorax; and Heliocypha perforata has blue spots on abdomen and blue marking (very limited pink, not as much as that of Heliocypha biforata) on thorax. Can you spot these differences on the photos shown below?

Aristocypha fenestrella

Heliocypha biforata

Heliocypha perforata

There are two stamps (from stamp booklet issued in 2000) showing damselflies related to the above species (see below stamps). However, the drawings and species labelling do not seem to be quite right. Let me explain one by one.....

The below stamp is imprinted with species name Aristocypha fenestrella. Well, at first glance the drawing of the damselfly looks very close to Aristocypha fenestrella. The wing marking of this damselfly is truly of that of Aristocypha fenestrella. However, the colour markings on the thorax and the abdomen of this damselfly are not quite right. For Aristocypha fenestrella, the thorax should have yellow marking and the abdomen should be dark (no blue spots). So, the damselfly drawing on this stamp has characters between Aristocypha fenestrella and Heliocypha perforata - the wing belongs to Aristocypha fenestrella but the abdomen-thorax belongs to Heliocypha perforata.

Aanother different stamp from the booklet (see below stamp) is also imprinted with species name Aristocypha fenestrella. If one looks carefully, the damselfly drawing on the stamp has blue-pink thorax, dark abdomen and less extensive colour on wings. These characteristics are of that Heliocypha biforata. So, the damselfly species on the damselfly should be Heliocypha biforata, not Aristocypha fenestrella as imprinted on the stamp.

Well, the these stamps were issued on the topic/theme of Dragonflies and Damselflies of Malaysia. So, it is incomplete if we do not take into consideration of those species from Sarawak and Sabah. After all, Sarawak and Sabah are also parts of Malaysia.... unless, the topic/theme of the stamp set were Dragonflies and Damselflies of Peninsular Malaysia. Now, one may ask what other species from Sarawak and Sabah look close to those damselfly images in the above two stamps. Actually, there are four species from Sarawak and Sabah (not found in Peninsular Malaysia) look close to the damselfly images in the above stamps - Heliocypha biseriata, Rhinocypha aurofulgens, Rhinocypha cucullata and Rhinocypha humeralis (see the four photos below). However, the wing colour pattern and the markings on abdomen and thorax of these four species from Sarawak and Sabah are not of those exactly as the damselfly images of the above stamps.

Heliocypha biseriata

Rhinocypha aurofulgens

Rhinocypha cucullata

Rhinocypha humeralis

Having said that, these two stamps are "error" stamps. You agree, don't you? :)

Friday, 28 December 2012

Dragonflies of Malaysia 013

Nannophya pygmaea
Nannophya pygmaea is one of the small dragonfly species in the world. It is normally found at grassy pond, marsh and open swamp. The male individual is in red colour while the female is rather yellowish brown. The stamp below shows a tandem pair (the male is in front and the female is at the back). On the other hand, the photo shows a wheel pair.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Friday, 21 December 2012

Vote for Your Most Favourite Stamp Issues for Year 2012

Malaysia stamp issuing programme for year 2012 has come to an end. A total of 17 stamp issues were released for the year 2012. Some of the stamp issues were extremely hot. A few controversies of stamp issuing popped up throughout the year. I might have to say that these controversies spice up the philately of Malaysia. Anyway, there are some stamp issues attract more attention to the others, and there are some appear to be more appealing than the others. Different people might have different preferences. Would you like to voice up your preferences for these stamp issues?

Consecutively for the fourth year I am putting up a poll asking you to vote on the most favourite Malaysia stamp issues. You may find the vote casting form at the left hand side of this blog. Please choose THREE most favourite stamp issues. The deadline for vote casting is on 13 January 2013. I will show you the final result after the close of vote casting.

Happy voting………

Click here to see the images of all the below stamp issues for year 2012.

12.01.2012 Legacy of Loom
27.02.2012 Yes to Life, No to Drug
08.03.2012 Antarctica Research
21.03.2012 Underwater Life
11.04.2012 Agong Installation
24.05.2012 Aromatic Plants
04.06.2012 Gas Conference
21.06.2012 Traditional Likelihood
16.07.2012 Malaysian Currency
30.08.2012 Unity
13.09.2012 Royal Visit
27.09.2012 Festivals
07.10.2012 750 Years of Melaka
22.10.2012 Postman Uniforms
05.11.2012 SetemKu
19.11.2012 Stamp Week 2012
20.12.2012 Kedah Postal History

You may view the results for year 2011 here, year 2010 here and year 2009 here.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

How Do Tell The Types of Perforation?

Those collectors who have been collecting perforation varieties should have known the current garden flower definitives come in two different types of perforation - P13.75x14 and P14.5x14.75. For many beginners, however, telling apart the types of perforation could be difficult let alone collecting them.
Peminat setem yang mengumpul varieti tebukan sudah mengetahui bahawa setem definitif bunga taman yang digunakan sekarang mempunyai dua jenis tebukan - P13.75x14 dan P14.5x14.75. Namun, ramai juga peminat setem yang kurang pengalaman tidak tahu bagaimana untuk membezakan kedua-dua jenis tebukan ini, dan ini menyebabkan mereka tidak dapat mengumpulkan varieti tebukan ini.

Here is a very simple trick to differentiate the two types of perforation for these garden flower definitives. What you need to do is to count the number of pin holes on the horizontal edge of the stamp. This is demonstrated at the images below:
Saya akan cuba menjelaskan di sini bagaimana kita dapat menentukan jenis tebukan bagi setem definitif bunga taman. Kamu hanya perlu membilang bilangan tebukan (lubang) pada tepi ufuk setem. Imej gambar di bawah mendemonstrasi bagaimana saiz/jenis tebukan ditentukan:

If you count the pin holes at the bottom edge of the stamp (excluding the corner ones), and you get 18 pin holes, then this stamp has perforation type I (P13.75x14).
Jika kamu membilang bilangan tebukan (lubang) di dasar tepi setem (tidak termasuk lubang di kedua-dua penjuru), dan kamu mendapat 18 lubang, maka setem ini mempunyai tebukan jenis I (P13.75x14).

If you count the pin holes at the bottom edge of the stamp (excluding the corner ones), and you get 19 pin holes, then this stamp has perforation type III (P14.5x14.75).
Jika kamu membilang bilangan tebukan (lubang) di dasar tepi setem (tidak termasuk lubang di kedua-dua penjuru), dan kamu mendapat 19 lubang, maka setem ini mempunyai tebukan jenis III (P14.5x14.75).

Now, you can dig out your stamps from your album to start counting.... :)
Cubalah membilang lubang pada setem definitif bunga taman kamu sekarang untuk menentukan jenis tebukan yang dimiliki oleh kamu.... :)

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Smaller Sized FDC

We will be seeing a smaller sized cover of FDC for the coming stamp issue (the last stamp issue for year 2012). Is Pos Malaysia adopting this smaller sized FDC for the future stamp issues (for year 2013 onwards)?

Malaysia Bird Stamps in 2013

It is going to be exciting for year 2013 as Pos Malaysia will be releasing its first stamp issue depicting woodpeckers on 13 January 2013.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Malaysia Maxicard - Melaka

2012 - Stamp Week 2012

The below stamp set and miniature sheets were released on 19 November 2012. The stamps have central vertical fluorescent bar. If I am not mistaken, this is the first time for Malaysia stamps to have fluorescent bar. Contrarily, the miniature sheets were printed on SPM-watermarked paper. The stamps were printed by Joh Enschede Security Print (the Netherlands). On the other hand, the miniature sheets were printed by Security Printer Malaysia.

Two miniature sheets were released - normal one and overprint. The overprint miniature sheet contains wording OMG. I only realized much later that OMG does not stand for Oh My God but rather Oh Memang Gempa.... hihi

Monday, 3 December 2012

Hobbies of Collecting

The hobby of collecting coins and banknotes is called numismatics, and the hobby of collecting stamps is called philately. Then what is called for the hobby of collecting matchboxes?

The answer is phillumeny.

Garden Flower 80s - 2012/1

The latest serial number for garden flower 80s is 2012/1....

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Sunday, 25 November 2012

The Story of DNA

What is DNA? DNA is an abbreviation of DeoxyriboNucleic Acid. It is a hereditary material located in the nucleus of a cell of living organisms (including humans). It is also considered as building blocks of living organisms. The DNA consists of four basic units (called as bases) - adenine, thymine, cytosine and guanine. The structure of DNA is in double helix. The double helix structure of DNA was discovered by Crick and Watson in 1953 - one of the great discoveries of the century - and both of them (including Wilkins) received Nobel Prize in 1962.

The left stamp depicts the 1962 Nobel Prize recipients for the discovery of the double helix of DNA. The solving of double helix structure was partly based on the X-ray diffraction image on DNA (shown on the left stamp). The right stamp depicts the 1978 Nobel Prize recipients for breaking the DNA codes.

In DNA structure, base adenine (A) is always paired with base thymine (T) and base cytosine (C) is always paired with base guanine (G). This stamp sheetlet has a perfect composition to show the base pairing of DNA.

this miniature sheet also shows a nice composition of base pairing of DNA

this miniature sheet depicts the model of double helix DNA structure

Below are a few stamps which have image of double helix DNA structure.

The double helix DNA attributes to chromosomes (in other words, chromosomes consist of DNA), and this information is well presented by the stamp below.

The methods of DNA sequencing (to read the order of bases in the double helix DNA structure or to read genetic codes of the DNA/gene) were developed in 1970s. Two methods were developed - Maxam Gilbert method and Sanger method. However, only Sanger method is adopted as a common approach for DNA sequencing. In fact, the DNA sequencing of human genome (completed in 2003) was done using Sanger method. The stamps below depict the Sanger DNA sequencing.

The chromatogram of DNA sequences is shown at the top right corner of the stamp

The two stamps depict the double helix DNA structure and the location of DNA in the chromosomes. However, the interesting part of these stamps is the stamp gutter showing the chromatogram of DNA sequences.