Monday, March 19, 2012

Swaziland Releases 4 Locust Stamps

The Swaziland Posts and Telecommunications Corporation will issue on April 2, 2012 four colorful stamps illustrating locusts found in that Southern Africian Country.


The first stamp stamp in the series shows the Southern African desert locust, Schistocerca gregariaflaviventris (Libhulamdzaka). The adult female is about 60-75mm long and light grayish brown in color A light-colored longitudinal stripe extends across the head and pronotum and the latter also bears short lateral stripes. The forewing has a distinctly spotty appearances and the under wing is yellow at its base- It belongs to the same subfamily as the red locust and bears a spur on the throat- The hoppers are generally green to grey in color. This locust feeds on herbaceous plants as well as grasses, and few crops. This locust is able to survive in extremely dry areas. Breeding coincides with rain. Two generations are possible, one in spring and the other in late summer


Schistocerca solitaria, Lidziya


There are at least more than 4 subspecies of Schistocerca solitaria in Swaziland. This subspecies is commonly found in lush areas where it camouflages with the grass. Generally green in color with lateral black stripes on the fore wings and the under wing is bright yellowish green.
The locust’s season commences around September- October, following the first rains, and runs through March- April. Female adults are 36-48mm. Schistocerca solitaria are predominantly grass feeders.


African migratory locust, Locusta migratoria migratoriodes (Liboni)


There are about 8 subspecies of Locusta migratoria in different parts of the world. This subspecies occurs only in Africa south of the Sahara.
The most important distinguishing characters of the African migratory locust are the yellowish color of the under wing and the hairy ventral surface of the thorax. The general color is yellowish green to light brown with mottled areas on the pronotum and tegmina. Females are 36-54mm and the malesare3s-44mm.Adult swarms roost within un-harvested maize





The red locust, Nomadacris septemfasciata ( lngwelebovu)

It is the largest of the African locusts, solitary females attain a length of 80mm and may be recognized by the white dorsal stripe running from the head to the tip of the forewings. The base of the under wing is red or sometimes purple, more visible when flying. This locust has a small spur on the throat. Only one generation is produced a year with adults living for some 8-9 months. Eggs are laid with the first rains (September- October) and hopper development takes 3-4 months during the summer rainy season. Favored breeding areas are seasonally flooded grasslands lying around rivers.


The stamps were designed by P Dlamini and printed by Joh. Enshede Security Printers by the lithographic offset method. The individual stamps have a size of 28 X 42mm and were perforated 13 1/4 by 13 3/4. The email address for the Swaziland Stamp Bureau is  stampbureau@sptc.co.sz 


For The Swaziland Post Office website go to  http://www.sptc.co.sz/Postal/products/stampbureau.php