30 November 2023

Oasis Skimmer – Dhahran Waste Water Lake

Whilst birding the Dhahran Waste Water Lake recently I found an Oasis Skimmer Orthetrum Sabina. This dragonfly is of medium-size with a wingspan of 60-85mm with adults being grayish to greenish yellow with black and pale markings and large green compound eyes. Its abdomen is long slender and ends with an enlarged area which is greenish yellow, marked with white and black. Males and females look identical. They are found mostly around stagnant water holes with some vegetation around and are often seen patrolling the water for potential prey but are also occasionally seen partly suspended under leaves or grass stalks. They prey upon other dragonflies and damselflies and other flying insects such as desert whites and are active all year round. Although I have seen this dragonfly many times in different areas of Saudi Arabia, it is the first time I have seen it in Dhahran where I live and spend man-hours birdwatching.