Dragonfly Stamps

2012 Vanuatu, Dragonflies of Vanuatu

Date of Issue:
22 February 2012
Sue Wickison, Wellington, New Zealand
35 x 35mm
140 x 90 mm (Souvenir Sheetlet)
14.25 x 14.25
Printing Process:
Offset lithography
Sheet of 16
Souvenir Sheetlet of 2 design
Southern Colour Print, Dunedin, New Zealand

Face V.
40 c
Yellow striped Flutterer (Rhyothemis Phyllis)
90 c
Globe Skimmer (Pantala flavescens)
140 c
Fiery Skimmer (Orthetrum villosovittatum)
250 c
Painted Grasshawk (Neurothemis stigmatizans)

The Stamps

The earliest dragonflies appeared over 300 million years ago and since that time they have developed into many different sub species. There are more than 5000 species of dragonflies existing in the world today. 

Vanuatu Post has chosen just four different dragonflies to show the wide variation, especially in colour, of these interesting creatures.

Yellow striped Flutterer Rhyothemis Phyllis - easily recognized, the yellow striped flutterer dragonfly flies with a fluttering motion at a slow speed, gliding most of the time. Its wings are much longer than its body. The head and body are dark brown in colour. Its wings are clear but tinged with yellow, with black tips. Its habitat is mostly ponds, orchid bushes and gardens.

Globe Skimmer Pantala flavescens -this dragonfly is up to 4.5 cm long with wingspans up to 8.5 cm in length. The predominant colour is yellowish to reddish. The wings are clear and very broad at the base. The larvae of the Globe Skimmer, like all dragonflies, are predatory, foraging very actively and eating indiscriminately. The Globe Skimmer, as its name suggests, has a very wide distribution area, between about the 40th parallels or where the temperature is above 20 C.

Fiery Skimmer Orthetrum villosovittatum - this dragonfly is found extensively throughout Australia and neighbouring Pacific Islands. Males have golden-brown thoraxes and red abdomens. Females are ochre-coloured. The species inhabits boggy areas, streams and swamps.

Painted Grasshawk Neurothemis stigmatizans - with reddish wing markings this distinctive dragonfly is widespread throughout eastern Queensland and the south -west Pacific. Large numbers of adults often congregate together in grassy areas near still waters. These include mixed lowland rain forest and swamps.

Dragonflies are an integral part of the Republic's flora and fauna. They are valuable predators that eat mosquitoes, and other small insects like flies, ants and wasps and thereby play their part in Vanuatu's ecosystem.


The Souvenir Sheetlet

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