Endangered Spiders on New Lithuanian Postage Stamps

On Saturday, March 17, two new postage stamps in "Red List of Lithuania" series will appear in circulation. The stamps feature two species of endangered spiders.

The tete-beche postage stamps created by the artist Ausrele Ratkeviciene are printed on the same small sheet, four sets in each. Each stamp has been issued in edition of 100 000 copies with nominal value of LTL 2.90 (EUR 0.84). Also, the first day cover, first day sheet and two maximum cards, one per stamp, will be issued.

The Fen Raft Spider (Dolomedes plantarius) belonging to the Family Pisauridae lives around the margins of water bodies, in peatlands and swampy forests. They vigorously glide over the water and hide in case of danger. Fen raft spiders hunt for various arthropods fallen into the water.
Fen raft spiders are found in swamps and forests of Western, Central, and Eastern Europe. However, despite a wide distribution of the species, it is difficult to estimate its population because of similarity with the raft spider.

The Ladybird Spider (Eresus cinnaberinus) of the family Eresidae is the most beautiful spider of distinctive appearance found in Lithuania. Due to a hidden lifestyle it is especially rare. The lady bird spiders usually hunt for big beetles having a firm chitin shell (dung-beetles, skippers). They live in southern slopes protected from wind, in dry locations and sandy soil. This species is included into the Red Lists of majority European countries. In Lithuania, it was discovered in 1999 and 2002 in Jurbarkas District.

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