Paragomphus sinaiticus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Paragomphus sinaiticus
Species Authority: (Morton, 1929)
Common Name(s):
English Sinai Hooktail, Sinai Lobetail
Mesogomphus sinaiticus Morton, 1929

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2012-04-10
Assessor(s): Boudot, J.-P., Clausnitzer, V., Dijkstra, K.-D.B., Suhling, F., Samraoui, B. & Schneider, W.
Reviewer(s): Tognelli, M., García, N. & Suhling, F.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Alomari, K.

The species is known from 33 localities in a highly fragmented range with difficult access, covering part of Africa (Sudan),  Arabia (Oman, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen), the Sinai in Egypt and western Iran. The overall number of records increased during the last decade due largely to an increase in resident observers in south-east Arabia, showing that at least this area is still only partly explored for species. It is expected that with increased collecting efforts new localities will be discovered in this area as well as in western Iran, where the species was recently discovered (2001-2002). New search in Niger is not possible due to the unstable situation of the country. It is likely that future field work will produce new data and localities in the Sudanese Red Sea Hills and the Sinai. At present, the global range of this species has been estimated in more than 10 locations (approximately 28) and its AOO is 132 km2 (considering a 2x2km2 grid size). Habitat destruction and drought have been observed to contribute to the continuing decline of the species' habitat quality in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula (Schneider and Boudot pers. obss.), and is affected by the decrease of rainfall and the increase of water demand due to human development in the Sahel and southern Arabia. No severe fragmentation or extreme fluctuation of the population has been confirmed. Therefore, the species qualifies for being listed Near Threatened because it meets subcriterion B2b(iii) with the information available at present. This species was previously assessed as VU A2c+3c, but the new records show an apparent broader distribution that previously known. Even though the sites from where it has been recorded are far apart and threats are known to affect local subpopulations, these are not considered to have a significant impact on the global population at present. Therefore, following a precautionary approach, the global category Near Threatened is believed to be the most adequate for this species that is probably Least Concern.

2006 Vulnerable
1996 Vulnerable

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Paragomphus sinaiticus is known from Saharan Africa (Niger, Sudan) to the Sinai (Egypt, type locality), the Arabian Peninsula (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Oman) and western Iran in several isolated localities or aggregates of localities. Its whole range is highly fragmented. In Africa it is restricted to the Air Mountains in Niger and the Red Sea Hills in eastern Sudan. In Asia it is confined to the Sinai (Egypt), Iran (a single isolated locality) and is scattered in isolated localities or aggregates of localities over Arabia. The overall range of the species includes 33 distinct localities distributed over 4,900,000 km², with a total of 37 records, among which 17 date from 1990 onwards and 13 from 2000 onwards. There was a significant increase of records during the last decade, largely due to an increase of observers in Oman and the Emirates. Three of five of the Nigerien localities are located in the National Natural Reserve of the Air and of the Tenere, which is presently not properly managed due to the political situation in the north of the country.
Egypt (Sinai); Iran, Islamic Republic of; Niger; Oman; Saudi Arabia; Sudan; United Arab Emirates; Yemen (North Yemen)
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Current population size is unknown.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The species is known from oases and gueltas in wadis in desert and semi-desert environment.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is not utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Water management by locals (e.g., drainage, over irrigation, pollution) and drought are threats to the species. Drought in the Air region (Niger) is causing ground water levels to decline but this is not thought currently to be heavily impacting the permanent water systems. In the south of the Air region overgrazing is causing increased sedimentation, but its impact on the species is unknown.  Use of pesticides in oases is another threat. Uranium mining in Niger is taking place for now in the outskirts of the Air Mountains and not within the relevant watersheds where the species live. It should not extend within the heart of the Air Mountains, which should be efficiently protected.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Three of five of the Nigerien localities are included in the National Natural Reserve of the Air and of the Tenere, which is now mostly virtual due to the political context of the north of the country. The whole Air Mountains should be efficiently protected and removed from uranium mining projects. The low water resources in the species' range should be preserved and protected against qualitative and quantitative degradation. Research into populations' size and range, biology and ecology, habitat status and conservation, threats and trends/monitoring of the species would be valuable.

Bibliography [top]

Carfì, S., Romano, V. and Terzani, F. 1995. Some dragonflies from the North of the Republic of Yemen. Bolletino de la Società Entomologica Italiana 126: 195-199.

Dumont, H.J. 1978. Odonata from Niger with special reference to the Aïr Mountains. Revue zoologique africaine 92: 303-316.

Dumont, H.J. and Martens, K. 1984. Dragonflies (Insecta, Odonata) from the Red Sea Hills and the main Nile in Sudan. Hydrobioogia 16: 181-190.

Feulner, G.R. 2006. Field Reports. Diverse Dragonflies. Gazelle, Newsletter of the Dubai Natural History Group 21: 6-7.

Fraser F.C. 1950. Contribution à l'étude de l'Aïr (Mission L. chopard & A. Villiers). Mémoires de l'Institut français d'Afrique Noire 10: 108-126.

IUCN. 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2013.1). Available at: (Accessed: 12 June 2013).

Kneucker, A. 1909. Odonata. Determiniert von Herrn Professor Förster in Bretten in Baden. In: Zoologische Ergebnisse zweier in den Jahren 1902 und 1904 durch die Sinaihalbinsel unternommener botanischer Studienreisen, nebst zoologischen Beobachtungen aus Ägypten, Palästina und Syrien. Verhandlungen des Naturwissenschaftlichen Vereins in Karlsruhe 21: 79-165.

Lambret, P. and Boudot, J.-P. 2009. Nesciothemis farinosa (Förster, 1898) et Orthetrum ransonnetii (Brauer, 1868) nouveaux pour l'Arabie Saoudite et autres observations d'Odonates sur les reliefs côtiers de la Mer Rouge. Martinia, 25: 153-155.

Martens, K. and Dumont, H.J. 1983. Description of the larval stages of the desert dragonfly Paragomphus sinaiticus (Morton), with notes on the larval habitat, and a comparison with three related species (Anisoptera: gomphidae). Odonatologica 12: 285-296.

Morton, K.J. 1929. Odonata from the Sinai Peninsula, Suez and Palestine, including a new species of Mesogomphus. Entomologist's Monthly Magazine 65: 60-63.

Reimer, R.W. 2006. Notes on distribution of Odonata at A’Subaitah. Emirates Natural History Group Al Ain Chapter Newsletter December 2006: 5-6.

Reimer, R.W. 2009. Additional records for Oman. AGRION, Newsletter of the worldwide Dragonfly association 13: 45-47.

Sadhegi, S. and Mohammadalizadeh, J. 2009. Additions to the Odonata Fauna of Iran. Iranian Journal of Science and Technology, Transaction A 33: 355-359.

Schneider, W. 1988. Dragonflies (Odonata) of the Wahiba Sands and adjacent Areas, Eastern Oman. Journal of Oman Studies Special Report 3: 377–388.

Schneider, W. 1988. Dragonflies (Odonata) of the Wahiba Sands and adjacent Areas, Eastern Oman. Journal of Oman Studies. Special Report 3: 377-388.

Schneider, W. and Dumont, H.J. 1997. The dragonflies and damselflies (Insecta: Odonata) of Oman. An updated and annotated checklist. Fauna of Saudi Arabia 16: 89-110.

Waterston, A.R. 1980. Insects of Saudi Arabia. Odonata. Fauna of Saudi Arabia 2: 57–70.

Waterston, A.R. 1984. Insects of Southern Arabia. Odonata from the Yemens and Saudi Arabia. Fauna of Saudi Arabia 6: 451-472.

Waterston, A.R. and Pittaway, A.R. 1991 (1989). The Odonata or Dragonflies of Oman and neighbouring territories. Journal of Oman Studies 10: 131-168.

Waterston, A.R. and Pittaway, A.R. 1991 (1989). The Odonata or Dragonflies of Oman and neighbouring territories. Journal of Oman Studies 10: 131-168.

Wilson, K.D.P. 2008. A brief trip to United Arab Emirates and northern Oman. Agrion, newsletter of the Worldwide Dragonfly Association 12: 56-57.

Citation: Boudot, J.-P., Clausnitzer, V., Dijkstra, K.-D.B., Suhling, F., Samraoui, B. & Schneider, W. 2013. Paragomphus sinaiticus. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 30 August 2015.
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