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Wadi Subaitah

Apr. 16th, 2009 | 06:59 pm
location: Wadi Subaitah

 Wadi Subaitah is in a narrow gorge and has very deep pools. it is accessed through an oasis and by following the falaj (irrigation channel) to the pools.
  • Prisuris rupestris
  • wadi loaches
  • water beetles
  • dragonfly nymph
  • shed skin of a camel spider.

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Wadi Jazira, Oman

Apr. 13th, 2009 | 03:53 pm
location: Wadi Jazira

Wadi Jazira is very narrow, and the water does not flow as fast as wadi Khadara, but forms pools in the corners where the water flows fastest during floods. 
  • Arabian Toads 
  • wadi fish
  • wadi loaches, brown with orange stripes and blue spots on their tails.
  • Orange and yellow hornet
  • various dragon flies and damselflies
  • Water Scorpion Laccotrephes fabricii

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Dry Wadi at Base of Jebel Qatarra

Apr. 9th, 2009 | 04:28 pm
location: Jebel Qatarra

The dry flat flood plain at the bottom of Jebal Qatarra, it is composed of largish rocks, gravel and sand. All the narrow wadis wash out into here. As it had rained recently there were quite a lot of plants around.

The night we went it was a full moon, and Brigitte and Mike had set up a light trap to see what insects were out and about.
  • Owlflies,( Ascalaphidae) these were beautiful, they sat with their four wings all spread out, and were completely blase about sitting on people. 
  • Various preying Mantises and their nymphs
  • Ant lion (Neuroptera)
  • Striped Hawk Moth Hyles livornica
  • Threadwings and tagged Threadwings
  • Sandy Camel Spider (Galeodidae or Solpugidae)
  • Various Beetles and Flies
Found and Captured  (not by me)
  • Black Camel Spider (Rhagodidae)
  • Small pale Scorpion, most likely Buthacus yotvatensis nigroaculeatus
We went for a walk in the steeper part of the wadi to find geckos.
  • Fanfooted gecko Ptyodactylus hasselquistii

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Wadi Al Khadra, Oman

Apr. 8th, 2009 | 03:24 pm
location: Wadi Al Khadra

Wadi Al Khadra has flowing water almost all year round. the rocks are  conglomerate, which looks like concrete mixed with rocks. On one side of the gorge is the village of Khadra and on the other an Oasis.
  • Semaphore Gecko Pristuris rupestris in a cave, male.
  • Arabian toads  Bufo arabicus
  • toadspawn
  • round grey water beetles
  • dead lizard in a pool, attepted to retrieve the body, but mostly disintegrated, head currently in bucket on roof.
  • grey spiders that walk on water

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Jebel Qatarra, Oman

Apr. 5th, 2009 | 02:50 pm
location: Jebel Qatarra

Jebel Qatarra is part of the Hajar Mountain range in Northern Oman, it is mainly dry, sedimentary rock, it's distinctive features are deep cut wadis and plateaus. 
  •  Omani Lizard, Most likely Lacerta jayakari , tail appeared blue in person, but does not show up so well in the photograph.
  • Sand Racer Psammophis schokari easily indentified by the black stripe through the eye.
  • Toad poles of the Arabian Toad Bufo arabicus
  • Water skaters
  • A large silverfish
  • Sinai Agama Pseudotrapelus sinaitus
  • Pristuris rupestris, (IDed by Dr Drew Gardener) Although common in the UAE and Oman P. rupestris have a wide variety of colours depending on their habitat which can make ID difficult for the inexperienced (such as myself!)
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Fossil Valley Survey Weekend 20th -21st February

Feb. 20th, 2009 | 03:13 pm
location: Fossil Valley

Fossil Valley is a wadi bed surrounds by a ridge, it is mainly fed by fresh water (rain and run off from the ridge). The salt water sinks in the centre of the wadi but evaporates around the edges, creating slightly different conditions.

When we conducted this survey the wadi was unusually green due to the recent rainfall and lack of goats.

Haloxylon bushes hold sand together and allow smal mammals and reptiles to build burrows.

  • Aerva javanica
  • Cleome amblyocarpa
    Haloxylon salicornicum
  • Velcro bush
  • Citrellus colycynthus
  • Cynomorium  coccineum
  • Anthia duodecimguttata
  • Anastatica hierochuntia

  • brain coral
  • bivalves
  • gastropods

  • Adult Ant Lion (Myrmeleontidae)
  • Domino Beetle
  • Milk weed Bug
  • Jumping Spider (Salticidae)
  • Grasshopper nymph
  • Striped hawk moth
  • Termites
  • Firebrat  Thermobia domestica

  • Gerbil prints 
  • Kuhl's Pipistrelle Pippistrellus kuhlii
  • Jerboa Jaculus jaculus
  •  male and female Cheeseman's Gerbil  Gerbilus cheesemani
  • Feral Donkey braying

  • Stenodactylus doriae 
  • Stenodactylus leptocosymbotes

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Dhub Valley

Jan. 23rd, 2009 | 06:27 pm
location: Al Ain, UAE

Dhub Valley

First stop- a sand stone out crop amongst the dunes
  • many owl pellets from the desert eagle owl Bubo ascalaphus
  • hole used by small mammal
  • Fox tracks 
  • Jird tracks
  • Sand Boa tracks
  • possibly Gerbil tracks
  • Sand boa tracks round burrow
  • camels
  • Wasps nests in sand. tubular, made of sand and spit.
Gravel Plain
  • Abandoned Dhub Uromastyx aegyptia microlepis burrow
Sabkha (salt flats)
  • crystal salt
  • fox burrow

Sand Valley
  • Toad headed Agama Phrynocephalus arabicus and burrows

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Al Jimi Oasis

Jan. 17th, 2009 | 09:18 pm

Near Heritage Centre
  • bee eaters 
  • 3 Semaphore geckos (Pristurus Rupestris) on wood pile.  Probably female. One light and signalling, two smaller and darker, all with distinctive dark line through eye.
Near Mosque
  • Dragon or Damsel flies
  • Semaphore gecko on door
  • white cheeked bulbul
  • Small bright green bird with red underwings
  • palm doves
  • Parakeets
  • Semaphore gecko on wall

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Jan. 13th, 2009 | 05:40 pm
location: Al Ain

On the verges and in the car park of Prix Unique

Carpark is dry, but there are trees fed by sprinklers.
  • White Cheeked Bulbuls
  • Hopoe
  • black head Bulbul-like birds
  • Sparrow-like birds
  • doves

The verges are grassy or covered with a plant similar to bean caper. There are date palms planted at regular intervals.
  • Hopoes
  • Quails

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Zakhar Ponds Al Ain

Jan. 10th, 2009 | 06:00 pm
location: Zakhar Ponds

Zakhar Ponds

Artificial Ponds, water from nearby sewage plant. The water and ground is very salty, surrounded by dunes.
  • Flamingo
  • Egret
  • some kind of Raptor
  • Desert Hyacinths
  • Phragmites australis -tall reed like plant, large amount of fluff at the top.
  • Zygophyllum qatarense- Bean Caper. Green succulent, with yellowish flowers.
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