Freshwater Life is the third series of pictorial Post & Go Stamps by the Royal Mail since their introduction in 2010. The first two series, Birds of Britain and British Farm Animals, enjoyed massive popularity; and it’s fair to say that the first two parts of this series, Ponds and Lakes, have hooked many more fans. This lovely aquatic issue is concluded with part 3, which explores the species found in British Rivers.
The six Rivers Post & Go Stamps are presented in a vertical strip and overprinted with First Class values. They are also brought on a carrier complete with fascinating facts about each of these wonderful indigenous, and in some cases endangered, species.
The minnow Phoxinus phoxinus is a small freshwater fish (8 to 10cm long) of the carp family. Common throughout much of Eurasia, the minnow prefers cool (12–20 C) streams and well-oxygenated lakes and ponds.
The Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar, spends most of its life in freshwater where the eggs are laid and juveniles mature, being known initially as parr and later as smolt, migrating to the sea to feed and grow, before returning to spawn in streams and rivers.
The white-clawed or the Atlantic stream crayfish Austropotomobius pallipes. It is one of the largest freshwater invertebrates in the UK.
The river lamprey or lampern, Lampetra fluviatilis, is a primitive jawless fish. It is found in coastal waters around almost all of Europe. It feeds as a parasite by attaching itself to the side of another fish and rasping with its sucker mouth. The reproductive cycle is similar to that of salmon. River lampreys migrate upstream from the sea in autumn or winter. Spawning activity is greatest in the springtime and young river lampreys spend several years in soft sediments in their natal rivers and streams before migrating to sea as adults.
Blue-winged Olive Mayfly larva
Mayflies are relatives of the dragonflies and damselflies. They are aquatic insects whose immature stage (called "naiad" or, colloquially, "nymph") lives for a year or more in freshwater.
The brown trout Salmo trutta is a relative of the salmon. There are both purely freshwater populations and a sea going form known as the sea trout. The latter migrates to the oceans for much of its life and returns to freshwater only to spawn.