The British Virgin Islands exists on the same geographic shelf as Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands (with the exception of St. Croix). Of the approximately 3,026 square nautical mile shelf (10,393 km2), the British Virgin Islands claims about 30 % (3,130 km2). The British Virgin Islands is home to a large array of aquatic habitats including (but not limited to) coral reefs, rocky areas and sea grass beds of which 90% (approximately) is coral reefs and rocks. The extensive and varied choice of habitats enables a variety of some 300 different fish species to call British Virgin Islands waters “home”.
These new definitive stamps from the British Virgin Islands feature just some of the awesome creatures that inhabit this truly magnificent underwater world and which you might see while snorkelling or diving around the islands.
10c Grooved Brain Coral (Diploria Labyrinthiformis) is a stony coral. It has narrow depth valleys separated by broad ridges. It’s often found in colours of tan to yellow, brown to a brownish grey.
15c Spiny Flower Coral (Mussa Angulosa) also known as large Flower Coral can be found in colours ranging from shades of grey, hints of green, blue and a reddish orange to pink.
18c The Elkhorn Coral (Acropora Palmata) is a branching coral.It got its name due to its thick antler like braches. The Elkhorn coral is one of the three most important corals in the Caribbean, contributing to reef growth, development and providing a habitat to many fish and marine invertebrates.
40c The Flamingo Tongue (Cyphoma Gibbosum) is a gastropod (a type of snail).They are cream and orange on their mantle and eats gorgonians.
50c The Cushion Sea Star (Oreaster Reticulates) also known as a starfish has gotten its name due to its unique shape. Although it’s called a starfish, they are not fish but are echinoderms. Starfish has regeneration abilities; if they lose one of their arms they can grow a new one to replace it.
60c The Queen Conch (Strombus Gigas) is one of five conch species that is found in the Virgin Islands. The Queen Conch is not only considered to be an appetizing meal but in the past, its shell has been used for various jewellery, tools and horns. During times of slavery, slaves used the shell as a horn which symbolizes their freedom.
80c The Caribbean Reef Squid (Sepioteuthis sepioidea) is found throughout the Caribbean Sea as well as off the coast of Florida, commonly in small schools of 4-30 in the shallows associated with reefs. Reef squid can move using jet propulsion by pressing water from the pallial cavity (in the mantle) through their funnel to move through the water. They can even fly out of the water using jet propulsion.
$1 The Pederson Cleaner Shrimp (Periclimenes Perdersoni). has a transparent body and is covered with purple to lavender spots. Here it can be seen hiding inside a giant anemone.
$1.50 Branching Vase Sponge (Callyspongia Vaginalis) has irregular tubes. The tubes are wide, with a thin – walled vent. This species of sponge can be found in colours of lavender, grey, green and brown.
$2.50 The Common Octopus (Octopus Vulgaris) has the ability to change its colour which assists them to easily blend into their surrounding environment. They have no brains but they are fast learners.
$5 The Spotted Eagle Ray, one of the most beautiful rays, is commonly observed in bays and over coral reefs. Within the British Virgin Islands they can be found frequently over conch beds throughout the islands. Although it occurs in inshore waters to depths of approximately 200 feet (60 m), the spotted eagle ray spends most of its time swimming in schools in open water.
$10 Bottlenosed Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) are one of the most commonly seen dolphins in the British Virgin Islands. Up to 4m in length they are powerful and acrobatic swimmers, reaching speeds of 30km an hour.
Designer Bee Design
Photography BVI Conservation and Fisheries Department
Printer Cartor Security Printing
Perforation 13 ¼ x 13 ½ per 2cms
Stamp size 42 x 28mm
Sheet Layout 10
Release date 5 July 2017
Production Co-ordination Creative Direction (Worldwide) Ltd