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    « Pure Fishing Asian Cup 2011 Taiwan | Main | Estuary Target: Indo-Pacific Tarpon »

    Post Office Releases Indigenous Fish Stamps

    A coworker tipped me off to the fact that the post office is releasing a series of stamps highlighting Taiwan's native fish species (so no bass or tilapia). The stamps are actually pretty nice looking and I'm assuming there will be more after the first four.

    Here is the text of the post office's announcement:

    The native freshwater fish of Taiwan’s rivers, lakes, and estuaries comprise the most diverse group of vertebrates within the island’s terrestrial ecosystem. Chunghwa Post has planned a series of postage stamps to introduce the beauty of Taiwan’s freshwater fishes. The first set of the series features Taiwan endemic fishes: Candidia barbatus, Opsariichthys pachycephalus, Spinibarbus hollandi, and Squalidus banarescui. The stamps will be released on March 10, 2011. The designs follow:

    1. Candidia barbatus (NT$5): This silver white fish has an obvious deep blue lateral stripe extending from its gill cover to the base of its caudal fin. It typically measures about 6 to 12 centimeters long, but large examples can sometimes reach 20 centimeters. It is commonly seen in the upper stretches of rivers and their branches in western Taiwan. As a result of human introduction in recent years, it can be found in the rivers of the Hualien and Taitung.

    2. Opsariichthys pachycephalus (NT$5): An adult male has some ten blue-green vertical streaks on the sides of its body and displays nuptial coloration in the area below its gill covers as well as at its pelvic, pectoral, and anal fins. Vigorous and ferocious, the species’ strong predatory characteristics make it a popular target for stream fishing. It typically measures about 8 to 15 centimeters long, but large examples can reach 20 centimeters. It is commonly seen in the rivers of western Taiwan.

    3. Spinibarbus hollandi (NT$12): The fish has a medium-to-large mouth aperture and two pairs of barbels. The back of its body is slate gray and its sides are silver white. This large carp typically measures about 20 to 40 centimeters long. The largest examples can reach 60 centimeters in length. The stamp features a medium-sized adult. It can be found in the middle stretches of rivers in southern and easternTaiwan.

    4. Squalidus banarescui (NT$25): This fish is slightly transparent, with a black and gold lateral line on the sides of its body. There is a black marking that resembles the Chinese character for eight “八” on each of its lateral line scales. This small carp measures about 8 to 10 centimeters long. It can only be found in relatively deep and slow and slightly muddy rivers in central Taiwan.

    The stamps are planned by Chen I-Shiung, professor at the Institute of Marine Biology of National Taiwan Ocean University. They are painted by the marine painter Mr. Jheng Yi-lang and printed by Central Engraving and Printing Plant in color offset.

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