Orthetrum sabina (Slender Skimmer/Variegated Green Skimmer)

Seen in AustraliaSeen in Sri LankaSeen in CambodiaSeen in SingaporeSeen in Hong KongOrthetrum sabina is an oriental species showing a huge range going from Australia, Japan and Micronesia to North Africa. They are even covered in the European Dragonfly Bible by Dijkstra/Lewington because they are found on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey which it includes as part of that region. This one cracks me up because the common names vary so much in different theatres:

  • Variegated Green Skimmer in Singapore;
  • Green Skimmer in Sri Lank;
  • Green Marsh Hawk in India;
  • Slender Skimmer in Europe and Australia.

These were one of our more frequent finds on our initial trip to Singapore and Cambodia. We have since bumped into a single example in Hong Kong Park in 2017, a couple of examples in Sri Lanka, 2019, and in Australia, both in 2019 and 2022.

They don’t really look like most of the other “Skimmers” with which I’m familiar but they are an Orthetrum, nonetheless and show the typical Orthetrum habit of perching on four legs with the front legs tucked up behind the eyes.

[O. serapia is a very similar species and I have a comparison chart showing the distinction between it and O. sabina.]

in cop

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