Creatures great but small feature in Freshwater Life, the three-issue Post & Go series for 2013. The first set, seen here, shows pond life. The Ponds set showcases three common species – the Three-spined Stickleback, Emperor Dragonfly and Smooth Newt – and three endangered species: Lesser Silver Water Beetle, Fairy Shrimp and Glutinous Snail. Issued on 22 February, the stamps are designed by Kate Stephens and the vibrant illustrations are by Chris Wormell.
Three-spined Stickleback: the archetypal "tiddler", the stickleback is a small, beautifully streamlined, torpedo-shaped fish with a broad tail fin. The name derives from its hallmark spines in front of the dorsal fin.
Emperor Dragonfly: these stunning blue dragonflies are Britain’s biggest. The larvae are actually brown, with rounded heads and large eyes. Widespread in southern England, the species seems to be extending northwards.
Smooth Newt: along with the common frog, the Smooth Newt is our most widespread amphibian. Both sexes are green-brown with whitish cheeks.
Lesser Silver Water Beetle: the beetle earns the name "silver" from air bubbles that get trapped in the fine hairs on its underside. These hairs form part of an elaborate underwater breathing system.
Fairy Shrimp: this rare shrimp sports 11 pairs of legs fringed with bristles. The male’s second set of antennae are used to grab females during mating.
Glutinous Snail: with a glossy amber shell, this snail feels sticky when handled, hence its name.