Seashells as a common sight along shorelines of New Zealand

April 30th, 2015 is glad to inform that New Zealand Post is ready to release a set of stamps depicting the native seashells. The issue consists of five items that are to be put into circulation on the 5th of May.

New Zealand's diversity of seashell fauna can be attributed to our isolation and geological history, allowing for over 2000 native seashell species to thrive in our waters. We take a look at just five of these species in the New Zealand Native Seashells stamp issue. Pre-order your stamps for 6 May 2015.

As a nation surrounded by water, seashells are a common sight along our shorelines. Though for most New Zealanders their interactions with seashells are limited to those they find on the beach and the occasional shellfish meal, collecting seashells is a pastime enjoyed in the coastal regions of New Zealand, with three shell clubs based in Wellington, Auckland and Whangarei.

In this oceanic stamp issue, a range of seashells species found only in New Zealand were taken, ranging from the common silver paua to the prized deep-water golden volute.

80c - Silver paua (Haliotis australis)

The silver paua lives in the lowtide and shallow sub-tidal zones on rocky shores throughout the country where it grazes on kelps and other algae. The genus name Haliotis is Latin for sea-ear, reflecting their distinctive shell shape.

$1.40 - Scott's Murex (Rolandiella scotti)

As Scott's Murex lives on rocks sub-tidally it can be quite a challenge to find a living specimen. The spines on the shell provide adhesion for camouflage providing organisms like bryozoans and coralline algae giving the shell a pebblelike appearance.

$2.00 - Golden volute (Provocator mirabilis)

Golden volutes were once considered by many to be 'New Zealand's rarest shell' as they inhabit depths of 400-1000 metres which is well beyond the reach of most shell collectors. It is rarely found in shell collections and is highly prized for its attractive curves and colouration.

$2.50 - Fan shell (Talochlamys gemmulata)

Talochlamys gemmulata is one of two common shallow-water scallops referred to as fan shells in New Zealand. This particular specimen was collected from the Wahine wreck in Wellington harbour and is held in Te Papa Tongarewa's collection.

$3.00 - Opal top shell (Cantharidus opalus)

The opal top shell is a common and attractive species living on rocky shores throughout New Zealand at and below low-tide. Remarkably, the opal top shell was the first New Zealand animal to be scientifically recorded and illustrated.

Seashells as a common sight along shorelines of New Zealand Souvenir Sheet

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