This publication describes the stamps which illustrate bat families by genus and species, where available. It discusses the reclassification of the vampire bats to a subfamily of the American Leaf-nosed Bat. There are 151 stamps listed on the checklist which illustrate bats of 13 different families. The earliest stamp was a 1948 Chile stamp which depicted the Yellow-shouldered Bat.
This publication discusses stamps which have stylized bats, either in the margin of the stamp or in the design of the stamp. The earliest stylized bat is from China. There are two stamps from the Empress Dowager 1894 issue which have five stylized bats surrounding the tree of life in the centre of each stamp. There are over 31 different varieties of these two stamps and an additional 56 stamps with different stylized bats.
There is also a section on other philatelic items which depict stamps including postal stationery and cancellations. The earliest postal card printed to order is from Hexentanzplatz, Germany in 1878, which depicts 'The Night of the Witches at Their Meeting Place" with bats flying in the evening sky and a 5 pfennigs imprinted stamp on the back. The earliest cancellation is from Hingham, Massachusetts, USA, in 1865, and is a fancy cancellation. There are many scientists and inventors who have studied bats and they will be briefly touched on this publication.
Checklists for the stamps are compiled. The major references for this publication are Walker's Mammals of the World, 5th Edition, Volume 1 (1991) and A World List of Mammalian Species, 3rd Edition (1991). The philatelic material shown is from the exhibit and collection of Thomas Lera.