I can't possibly tell you how happy I was when I received this little beauty :)
My first cover from Barbados, with 2 wwf stamps depicting the 'Queen Triggerfish' and with one definitive stamp on 'Flowering trees of Barbados'!
Let's start with the tree stamp. I found this description on the internet:
Cochlospermum vitifolium is known as Buttercup tree or Brazilian Rose. It is native to Central and South America and flowers in February during the dry season when all its leaves are shed. In fact, this plant is well-adapted to harsh, arid conditions. Two forms of this tree are known, one with flowers comprising a single whorl of petals and the other with 'double' flowers which are more rose-like. The fruit is a woody capsule which splits to disperse the seeds in a mass of soft, silky hairs. These fibres are apparently used elsewhere to stuff pillows.
The Queen Triggerfish's body is large and powerful, with the eyes set high on the forehead. It has a yellow head, but its body colour varies from purple, blue to green and can pale or darken to match its surroundings. The dorsal and anal fins are tinted in blue. All Triggerfishes have the unique ability to lock their first two dorsal spines in an upright position, providing a defense against the larger predators of the oceans that may try to eat them.
They feed mainly on zoonbenthos (animals living on the seafloor) which includes worms, crustaceans such as crabs and lobsters, and sea urchins. The Triggerfish appear to be quite fond of sea urchins even the cobbler (Diadema antillarum).
Found mainly in the Atlantic and Indian oceans, it can be found in a variety of near-shore habitats mainly coral reefs, coral rubble and sometimes sea grass beds over a wide depth range (2-275 m).
The fish is mainly captured by fish traps but may also be taken with hook and line and spear gun gear.
In Barbados, the "Old wife" is one of the more preferred reef fish species amongst consumers, although Barbadians in general, are more interested in pelagic species (flying fish, dolphin etc.) and not reef species.
There is no real fishing season for this fish per se. (texts: Barbados Postal Service website and flyers)
Tomorrow I will be back with another cover (yes I received more than one cover last week!)