April 21. Philippine Marine Biodiversity - Definitives
Amstar Company, Inc. Perf. 13.5
of 100 (10 x 10)
Harlequin Shrimp - Singles (350,000)
Blue Sea Squirts - Singles (750,000)
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
8p Harlequin shrimp (Hymenocera sp.)
Some of the most unusual of all
of the ornamental marine shrimp. The ornate markings, vivid
coloration and odd shaped claws make them desirable to many
hobbyists but there is a catch to keeping these striking shrimp.
They only eat the legs and suction cup feet of starfish.
20p Blue Sea Squirt (Rhopalaea crassa).
Sea squirts are common in all
marine habitats, attaching themselves to virtually any fixed object
on a coral reef. To feed, they constantly filter out bacteria and
phytoplankton by passing a continuous stream of water through their
body. The larger of the two openings is the mouth, or incurrent
aperture, and the smaller is the excurrent aperture. The water
stream is kept moving by the action of tiny cilia (hairs) that line
the inside of the tunicate body. Waste products are also expelled
through the excurrent aperture. These
tunicates are about 1 1/2 inches in length.
In the Philippines, it's common to see five or more of these
blue tunicates in small colony-like formations. When disturbed,
tunicates draw up the incurrent and excurrent apertures, much like a
drawstring around the rim of a bag.