October 7, 2017

3159 BRAZIL - Ants from Brazil

Insects are, by far, the largest group of animals on the Earth (well over 1,000,000 species), representing 95% of the arthropods and 65% of the animal kingdom. Of these, 10,000 species are of ants (Formicidae), living on all continents except Antarctica. It is believed that the biomass of all the ants in the world equates to the biomass of all humans, and represents about 10% of the biomass of all animals. In Brazil were identified 1484 species and subspecies of ants, of which 529 are endemic.

Camponotus genus, known commonly as Carpenter ants, build nests inside wood consisting of galleries chewed out with their mandibles, preferably in dead wood. The genus includes over 1,000 species, among which are Camponotus senex and Camponotus textor, commonly confused species. Odontomachus bauri are known also as trap jaw ants. The trap jaw consists of mandibles which contain a spring-loaded catch mechanism. The mandibles are able to sting and paralyze prey or crush prey to death.

Atta sexdens is a species of leafcutter ant. They cut leaves to provide a substrate for the fungus farms which are their principal source of food. Their societies are among the most complex found in social insects. Solenopsis saevissima, commonly known in Brazil as formiga ruiva (red ant), is known for its powerful and painful sting, hence the name "fire ant". It is a pest in horticulture and the current method of control is to introduce the scuttle fly phorid into its habitat.

About the stamps

The first stamp Chapecoense - Winner of the South American Football Championship, was issued on January 25, 2017. Associação Chapecoense de Futebol, commonly known as Chapecoense and whose acronym is ACF, is a Brazilian football club, based in the city of Chapecó in the state of Santa Catarina. The club was founded in 1973 with the goal of restoring football in the city, and won the state championship, the Campeonato Catarinense, for the first time in 1977. The club has won six state titles to date, most recently in 2017. On 28 November 2016, a charter flight carrying the first team crashed as it approached José María Córdova International Airport near Medellín, Colombia, where the team was travelling to play the first leg of the 2016 Copa Sudamericana final against Atlético Nacional, a match that was seen as the biggest in the history of the club. All but six of the 77 passengers died; only three Chapecoense players survived their injuries. Following the crash, Atlético Nacional made a request to the governing body of the competition, CONMEBOL, that Chapecoense be awarded the trophy. CONMEBOL awarded Chapecoense the trophy on 5 December, and Atlético Nacional received the Centennial Fair Play Award for their gesture.

The second stamp is part of the very large series Butterflies of Brazil, issued on October 20 and 22, 2016. The last stamp is part of the series Profissões (Professions), about which I wrote here.

Ant - Wikipedia
AntWiki - Antwiki

Sender: Tais / tais_moura (postcrossing) BR-447889
Sent from Santo André (São Paulo / Brazil), on 02.09.2017
Illustrations: Jose Carlos Braga

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