04 October 2014

Bats on new stamps from Slovenia




Date of Issue : 25 September 2014

Slovenia Post issued a set of 3 stamps  and a miniature sheet  featuring bats on 25th September 2014.


AUNA – Bats
Bechstein’s bat – Myotis bechsteinii (Kuhl, 1818)
Bats are the only mammals to have a wing membrane that allows true flight. The membrane is stretched between the digits of the forelimbs, the body, the hind legs and the tail and forms a special flying organ. Bats have also developed an effective echolocation system based on high-frequency sound which enables them to orient themselves in space and hunt food in the darkness.

Bechstein’s bat belongs to the vesper bat family (Vespertilionidae), which lack the enlarged nose-leaf of other echolocating bats. It folds its wings along its body when at rest. Another characteristic of Bechstein’s bat are its big ears, which are more than 2 cm long and have a long, narrow tragus with a pointed tip. Like other bats, Bechstein’s bat is endangered and its distribution and numbers are shrinking. The reason for this is a lack of suitable roosts, the use of poisons in the environment, lack of food and light pollution. Bechstein’s bat is a forest species that roosts in hollow trees. In commercial forests with few old trees, we can help bats by installing bat boxes.

Lesser horseshoe bat – Rhinolophus hipposideros (Bechstein, 1800)

Bats of the horseshoe bat family (Rhinolophidae) have a horseshoe-shaped nose-leaf, a special fold of skin, around the nostrils. Four species of horseshoe bats live in Slovenia. The lesser horseshoe bat is the smallest
of them. It is found in central and southern Europe and in northern Africa. Its body is between 3.5 and 4.5 cm long, its tail measures 2 cm, its wingspan is around 20 cm and it weighs between 5 and 9 g. It has a grey-brown back and a lighter, white-grey belly. The ears are large, pointed and have no tragus. When the bat hangs from the ceiling, it is entirely wrapped in its wings and is around 10 cm long. In summer it roosts in buildings, frequently church bell towers or attics, while in winter it hibernates in caves, cellars or mineshafts. The lifespan of the lesser horseshoe bat is usually around four years but in some cases it can live up to 30 years. The lesser horseshoe bat is another endangered and protected species. We can help it by keeping openings clear in buildings and caves to allow them to fly in and out, by not illuminating their roosts at night and by not disturbing them during hibernation in caves and other places.

Kuhl’s pipistrelle – Pipistrellus kuhlii (Kuhl, 1819)

Kuhl’s pipistrelle is a medium-sized species of bat from the vesper bat family (Vespertilionidae), which, with more than 300 species (25 of which are present in Slovenia), is the largest family of bats in the world. Vesper bats do not have a nose-leaf and when at rest fold their wings along their body instead of wrapping themselves in them like other bats. Kuhl’s pipistrelle typically has short ears with a short, sickle-shaped tragus. The bat gets its Slovene name belorobi netopir (literally: white-edged bat) from the edge of the wing membrane between the last digit of the foreleg and the hind leg. Its body is around 4.7 cm long, it has a wingspan of around 22 cm and it weighs between 5 and 10 g. It is found in Europe, Asia and parts of Africa. It is a nocturnal hunter of flying insects and uses echolocation in a frequency range of between 36 and 40 kHz.

My recent cover


Cover from Latvia

Lighthouses of Latvia


Received this cover from Latvia sent by EN Limanski from Riga, Latvia. Many thanks to Mr Limanski for this cover.

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