14 December 1993
20c, 45c/45c, $1.00, $1.50/$1/50
Mint and CTO $5.10
14 December 1993
Tablet Values: 20c, 45c/45c se tenant pair, $1.00, $1.50/$1.50 se tenant pair
Artist: Gordon Drummond
Printer: Walsall Security Printers Limited
Paper: CA Spiral Watermark
Stamp Size: 25.60 x 38.52 mm
Perforation Gauge: 13 per 2 cm
Pane Format: 40 (2 x 20)
Mint and CTO: $5.10
First Day Cover: $5.60
Dr Brian J Gill, Curator of Land Vertebrates at the Auckland Institute and Museum, has been extremely helpful in identifying the skinks and geckos featured in this issue and his following contribution is acknowledged with thanks:
Lizards have colonised the islands of the South Pacific from west to east, either naturally by being carried on floating debris from island to island, or artificially through man's activities. The latter include the voyages of Polynesian seafarers during the past few thousand years, who may have spread lizards accident or deliberately. Being so far to the east, the Pitcairn group has very few lizards - only six species. All are widely distributed in the Pacific.
20c stamp: The Indopacific Tree Gecko is patchily distributed in the Pacific but is widespread in South-east Asia. It is known on Pitcairn Island from a single specimen.
45c/45c se tenant pair: The Stump-toed Gecko is a common house gecko in Asia and the Pacific, and probably reached Pitcairn Island this century as a stowaway in cargo. Mourning Geckos occur mainly as female-only populations. Without any involvement of males they lay eggs that hatch into females. This phenomenon - parthenogenesis or "virgin birth" - is very rare in land vertebrates.
$1.00 stamp and $1.50/$1.50 se tenant pair:
The Snake-eyed Skink, so far known only from Henderson Island among
the Pitcairn Islands, has a large transparent scale covering its eye and
cannot blink. This is the condition in snakes and geckos but is rare
among skinks. The White-bellied and Moth Skinks are extremely common
throughout the South Pacific. All the lizards of the Pitcairn group
eat arthropods like insects and spiders.