March 29. Philippine Marine Biodiversity - Definitives
Amstar Company, Inc. Perf. 13.5
of 100 (10 x 10)
Christmas Tree Worm - Singles
Mandarinfish - Singles (800,000)
Spotted Porcelain Crab - Singles (1,000,000)
Graphic Artist: Jiomer E. Dacaymat
Design Coordinators: Victorino Z. Serevo; Elenita D.L.
Source: Coral Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific by Dr. Terence
First Day Covers: Manila
The Philippines forms an ocean region
that has long been recognized as the world’s center of marine
biodiversity. With the Malay archipelago, Papua New Guinea and
Australia, the country forms the ‘Coral Triangle,’ so-called because
of the abundance of its coral reef life. Some 400-500 species in 90
genera of reef-forming corals are believed to exist in this region.
Sulu-Sulawesi Sea, a 900,000-square-kilometer marine eco-region that
lies at the apex of the Coral Triangle (70% in the Philippines, 20%
Indonesia, 10% Malaysia), is home to some 2,500 species of fish.
The Philippine center of diversity was found to have the highest
species richness for all distributions combined as well as when
shore fish distributions were treated separately.
CHRISTMAS TREE WORM (SPIROBRANCHUS GIGANTEUS). Commonly
known as Christmas tree worms, are small, tube-building polychaete
worms belonging to the family Serpulidae. The worms’ most distinct
features are the two "crowns" that are shaped like Christmas-trees.
These "crowns" are actually highly modified prostomial palps which
are specialized mouth appendages of the worm. Each spiral is
actually composed of feather-like tentacles called "radioles", which
are heavily ciliated which allows any prey that are trapped in them
to be transported straight towards the worm's mouth.
(SYNCHIROPUS SPLENDIDUS). The mandarinfish or mandarin
dragonet (Synchiropus splendidus), is a small, brightly-colored
member of the dragonet family, which is popular in the saltwater
aquarium trade. The mandarinfish is native to the Pacific and was
first described as Callionymus splendidus in 1927 by Albert William
Herre, an American ichthyologist working in the Philippines. To
date, S. splendidus is one of only two animal species known to have
blue colouring because of cellular pigment. They are reef dwellers,
preferring sheltered lagoons and inshore reefs. While they are
slow-moving and fairly common within their range, they are not
easily seen due to their bottom-feeding habit and their small size
(reaching only about 6 cm). They feed primarily on small crustaceans
and other invertebrates.
PORCELAIN CRAB (NEOPETROLISTHES MACULATA). The Spotted
Porcelain Crab is an exquisite reef safe crab. They are reef safe,
peaceful, and will not harm other invertebrates or corals. Very
interesting invertebrates for the marine aquarium. Common throughout
the tropical oceans of the world, they have a flat, round body with
two large claws and a pair of maxillipeds which are used to catch
plankton in the water column. They are also algae eaters and enjoy
lots of live rock to graze and hide, and do well in groups. They are
light blue in color and covered in small red spots, with orange
tipped legs; a very unique addition to the reef aquarium. Safely
concealed by rocks or coral, the Porcelain Crab constantly filters
the water for planktonic food, but will also scavenge for larger
meaty portions. (http://www.aquacon.com/crabs.html)
Articles by Dr. Ngo Tiong Tak