Widespread in Africa and the Middle East, the Desert Skimmer (Orthetrum ransonnetii) is mostly found in hot, arid, rocky environments, like Sinai’s desert mountain region.
These dragonflies have almost completely black venation and completely transparent wings. (There is no amber color on the hind wings like in other species.) The males are blue, with an unwaisted body, and females are brown.
Because their larvae and nymphs are aquatic, Desert Skimmers are common at small flowing and standing pools of water, and particularly areas without a lot of vegetation.
Desert Skimmers are known to hang from vertical or sub-vertical rocks and walls. And if the weather is hot, they especially like to hang in shaded places.
Dragonflies are carnivorous, predatory insects, hunting on the wing for other flying insects, including mosquitoes, flies, butterflies and moths, and even smaller dragonflies. Their acute eyesight and strong, agile flight help make them some of the world’s most efficient hunters. Dragonflies catch up to 95% of the prey they pursue. And that’s good, because a dragonfly eats up to 1/5 of its weight every day.
Bedouin in Sinai, at least of the Jebeleya tribe, call a dragonfly a ghizlan غِزْلان
What do you call them in your native language?
Be sure to read the post about the Violet Dropwing where you can learn more about dragonflies’ amazing wings!