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Natural UAE

What and Where

Desert habitats such as those that dominate the territory of the United Arab Emirates, although not so rich in insect species as most tropical and temperate regions, still manage to support a remarkable variety of insect life. The observant first time visitor to this land is usually amazed at this variety and does not expect to see for example, delicately coloured dragonflies patrolling the sparse vegetation along the sides of sand dunes or clouds of butterflies swirling like a snow storm around the crown of a flowering Acacia tree. A nocturnal excursion to the desert can produce enormous numbers of insect visitors at even the smallest lantern. These include numerous beetles, grasshoppers and wasps as well as the inevitable moths. However, perhaps the most interesting and unusual insects attracted to artificial light are the lacewings and antlions that belong to the nerve-winged insects (Neuroptera). Some of these are delicate insects with long streamers replacing the hind wings, but others are amongst the giants of the UAE insect world with wingspans of 10 cm or more.

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