Orthetrum ransonnetii (Brauer, 1865)
Desert Skimmer

Type locality: Et Tur, Sinai, Egypt


Male is similar to O. microstigma and O. monardi by (a) thorax without whitish stripes; (b) Pt usually shorter than 3 mm, 9.5% of Hw length or less; (c) lobe of hamule very low and obtuse, space between it and hook at most right-angled notch. However, differs by (1) being restricted to deserts; (2) thorax initially unmarked, very densely pruinose when older; (3) membranule whitish rather than dark; (4) Hw base clear rather than with yellow or amber patch; (5) S3-4 nearly parallel-sided. [Adapted from Dijkstra & Clausnitzer 2014]

Habitat description

Streams and headwaters in open landscapes, especially rocky deserts. Usually with bare banks and often rocks and a sandy bottom, probably especially calmer sections (like pools). From 0 to 2300 m above sea level.


confirmed: Algeria; Chad; Egypt; Libya; Mauritania; Morocco; Niger; Sudan; Tunisia

Male © Jean-Pierre Boudot

Abdominal segment 2 (lateral view)

Map citation: Clausnitzer, V., K.-D.B. Dijkstra, R. Koch, J.-P. Boudot, W.R.T. Darwall, J. Kipping, B. Samraoui, M.J. Samways, J.P. Simaika & F. Suhling, 2012. Focus on African Freshwaters: hotspots of dragonfly diversity and conservation concern. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 10: 129-134.


  • Brauer, F. (1865). Bericht über die von Herrn Baron Ransonnet am rothen Meere und auf Ceylon gesammelten Neuropteren (L.). Verhandlungen der kaiserlich-koniglichen zoologisch-botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien, 15, 1009-1018.
  • Longfield, C. (1955). The Odonata of N. Angola. Part I. Publicacoes culturais Companhia Diamantes Angola, 27, 11-63. [PDF file]

Citation: Dijkstra, K.-D.B (editor). African Dragonflies and Damselflies Online. http://addo.adu.org.za/ [2019-05-24].