Norvic Philatelics - GB New Stamps and Special Postmarks

Pictorial Faststamps: Ladybirds - 14 September 2016

Pictorial Post & Go stamps appear in machines in UK Post Offices for defined periods of time in the year and this series is intended to provide attractive stamps that are appropriate for the season in which they are issued.

The second set for 2016 depicts "a celebration of British ladybirds and their surprising variety of colours and forms".  At the same time Jersey Post will issue a set of six 'beetles' including the Orange, Harlequin, and Seven-spot Ladybirds, and two beetles.

Post & Go terminals allow customers to weigh their letters and packets, pay for and print postage stamps and stationery supplies, often without the need to visit the counter. The first Post & Go machine was trialled in The Galleries Post Office┬« in Bristol in 2008.  The labels will be used in Post & Go machines at Post Offices around the country, and from new Royal Mail machines at Autumn Stampex.  The labels at Stampex can be obtained with 6 different service indicators: 1st class up to 100g & 1st class Large up to 100g, a dual-value Europe up to 20g/World up to 10g, Europe 100g, Worldwide 20g, and Worldwide 100g.  The stamps are dispensed singly or in strips of up to 6 of the same value or various values. 

Two Ladybird Post and Go Faststsmps. Two Ladybird Post and Go Faststsmps. Two Ladybird Post and Go Faststsmps. 

From top left: Seven Spot Ladybird, Orange Ladybird, Striped Ladybird;
Fourteen-spot Ladybird, Heather Ladybird, Water Ladybird
Let me know
when this
page changes

it's private
powered by

Ladybirds are beetles of the Coccinellidae group. They spend the winter in a dormant state and in early Spring emerge to forage. Of the 46 species that live in the UK, the 2013 ladybird survey identified 26 as readily recognisable as ladybirds.

Ecologically they are extremely important: many feed on destructive creatures such as aphids (of which they can consume 5000 in a lifetime) and hence are prized by gardeners as well as being economically important to agriculture by eating pests of crops. Ladybirds are also important plant pollinators.  It is estimated that on recent decades populations have declined due to habitat loss, use of chemical insecticides and climate change (such as the exceptionally wet summers having an impact on the ability of insects to fly).
Ladybirds lPost and  Go presentation pack.

The stamps in detail

Seven-spot Ladybird
One of the most common ladybird species across the UK, this iconic bright-red beetle can be seen throughout the spring and summer searching for aphids on nettles and other herbaceous plants. In the winter, it seeks shelter under leaves and becomes dormant, to emerge in the spring ready to mate.

Fourteen-spot Ladybird
With its characteristic square black spots on a yellow background, this ladybird can often be found alongside Seven-spot Ladybirds feeding on the aphids that infest a range of herbaceous plants. Its grub-like larval stage has long legs and, like many other ladybird larvae, also feeds on aphids.

Orange Ladybird
This ladybird has white splotches on an orange background and feeds on the powdery white mildews that grow on the leaves of deciduous trees, particularly ash and sycamore. It breeds later in the year than other ladybirds, and its larvae take longer to develop than those of predatory species.

Heather Ladybird
The delicate red markings on this small black ladybird appear as a transverse line of red spots across the wing cases, but they are actually two red spots broken into a dotted line. The Heather Ladybird is so named because it is often found on heather heathland, where it feeds on scale insects.

Striped Ladybird
Found on mature Scots pine trees, this ladybird is the most specialised of all the aphid-eating ladybirds in the UK and is the second largest ladybird in the country. Chestnut-brown, with pale cream stripes rather than spots, it is very well camouflaged against the buds of Scots pines.

Water Ladybird
This ladybird, which is more elongate than most species, undergoes a dramatic transformation as an adult. In the winter, while tucked between dead reed leaves, it employs buff-coloured camouflage, but in the spring, when it goes off to search for aphids, it becomes brightly coloured, warning potential predators that it tastes unpleasant.

Technical details:

Designed by Osborne Ross / Chris Wormell, the six 56mm x 25mm stamps are printed in gravure by International Security Printers, with two phosphor bars.  The stamps in the pack will have the service indicator and other detail printed in gravure.  

All images are by kind permission of Royal Mail, Copyright 2016. This website is copyright Norvic Philatelics 2016.

Products issued

The labels will be used in Post & Go machines at Post Offices around the country, and from the Royal Mail machines at Autumn Stampex.
A mint set of 6 x 1st will also be available from Royal Mail's Tallents House Bureau in a pack similar to a presentation pack (see right). All values in the pack are 1st Class.

Royal Mail will again produce a First Day Cover and official First Day Postmarks for these stamps.

Special Postmarks
Postmarks available for the day of issue will be shown in Royal Mail's Postmark Bulletins (download here).

This page created 16 August 2016

If you wish to be told when this page is updated, please use the ChangeDetection box at the top of this page.

Keep up to date on our blog
Home Page and index for 2016
Visit our online shop!

Norvic Philatelics, PO Box 119, Dereham, NR20 3YN, GB.
UK Phone: 08450 090939 -- Skype:ian.billings-norvic

Instant Printing Prices from Webmart