United Arab Emirates

By Peter Petersen

The Sand Gazelle (Gazella marica) in the desert of Dubai.

 This Arabian Bee-Eater (Merops orientalis cyanophrys) was hunting wasps and dwarf bee´s.

I found this this Lime Swallowtail (Papilio demoleus demoleus) in the city of Dubai not far from central.

I observed this Shikra (Accipiter badius) feeding on dragonflies. This small bird of prey seem to be common around Dubai.

The Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus aigneri) seems to feed mainly on insects.

The Common Hoopoe also called Eurasian hoopoe (Upupa epops) feeding on insect larvae.

The Rose-ringed Parakeet (Psittacula krameri krameri) has a total length of 40 cm. This parrot is common in Dubai. 

 The Arabian Purple Sunbird (Cinnyris asiaticus brevirostris) is an important pollinator for many local plants. This species mainly feed on nectar from flowers.

The Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis tristis) is omnivorous like other starlings. Perhaps the most common bird in Dubai.

The Grey Francolin (Ortygornis pondicerianus mecranensis) can grow up to around 34 cm (males). 

The Red Dwarf Honey Bee (Apis florea) can be found all over Dubai.

The Arabian Laughing Dove also called Arabian Palm Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis cambayensis) is native to east Arabia. 

A female House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) in the middle of the city of Dubai. 

 The Dromedary Camel (Camelus dromedarius) is the tallest of the three camel species. It can grow up to 2.4 meters (Males). weighing up to 700 kilos. 

 The Indian Roller (Coracias benghalensis benghalensis) is native to East Arabia. It has a wingspan of up to 74 cm and a lenght of 34 cm. 

 The male Broad Scarlet Dragonfly (Crocothemis erythraea). This darter is a widespread species which occurs in Africa, Europe, Asia and Arabia.

 Asian Pied Starling also called Indian pied myna (Gracupica contra) seems a bit more shy than other bird species in Dubai.

 The Arabian Oryx (Oryx leucoryx) was extinct in the wild in the 1970s. It was reintroduced, thanks to private zoos and private reserves in the 1980´s.

The Arabian Oryx (Oryx leucoryx) is the first animal to move from Endangered to Vulnerable in IUCN Red List (in 2011).

Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum showed me the Arabian Oryx (Oryx leucoryx) in the wild near Dubai. We even found a calf. 

The Arabian Cicada (Platypleura arabica) was described from the United Arabian Emirates. The trees around Dubai are full of these.

 White-eared Bulbul (Pycnonotus leucotis) is one of the most common bird species around Dubai. Here it seems to feed mainly on fruit, buds and insects.

The Slender Skimmer (Orthetrum sabina) is a widespread species and is native to this region.

The Indian Silverbill (Euodice malabarica) is one of the smallest birds around Dubai. It grows to around 11 cm. 

 Red-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer) seems a bit more shy than the common one. I often observed them higher in the trees. 

The Arabian Mud Wasp (Delta esuriens gracile) is a native Potter wasps also called mason wasps (Eumeninae).

The Arabian Paper Wasp (Polistes wattii) is the most common species of wasp in Dubai.

The Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) is a widespread bird species. It is native to this region as well.

 The Arabian Delicate Prinia (Prinia lepida carpenteri). Originally described from Oman, this subspecies occurs in UAE as well.

 The Giant Click Beetle (Lanelater buattikeri) is native to this region. This specimen is almost 3 cm long.

 The Giant Click Beetle (Lanelater buattikeri) seem to be most active in the early morning (During summer).

At night the Tropical House Cricket (Gryllodes sigillatus) is an important prey for many animals of the desert. 

The Arabian Cockroach (Supellina buxtoni) is native to this area. This species seems to be a relative rare find. No observations were registered in Inaturalist, before this observation.

I found this Arabian Cockroach (Supellina buxtoni) near a palace in Dubai.

The Groove-legged Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa sulcatipes) seem to be a common insect in Dubai.

The Big-headed Lagoon Fly (Eristalinus megacephalus) seems to be an important pollinator in United Arab Emirates. 

 I found the Big-headed Lagoon Fly (Eristalinus megacephalus) in most of the native plants.

 East Arabian Mantis (Nilomantis floweri) found on a building in the middle of the night. This native mantis seems nocturnal.

 The Keeled Rock Gecko (Cyrtopodion scabrum) is also called: rough-tailed gecko, rough bent-toed gecko, rough-tailed bowfoot gecko, common tuberculate ground gecko.

 Heyden’s Gecko (Hemidactylus robustus) is another native nocturnal gecko.

The Northern House Gecko (Hemidactylus flaviviridis) is also called: yellow-belly gecko. I found this specimen on a building in a palace.

The Khomeini Beetle (Maladera insanabilis) is a native beetle which reaches 9 mm. The grown beetle are active during the summer.


A special thanks to:


Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum


Alireza Zamani (Arachnida)