Black Saddlebags Dragonfly

Tramea lacerata

Most dragonflies are found in wetlands, along lakes and man-made ponds. They are often not found in my front garden. The Black Saddlebags is named for the dark spot on the hind wings. The stigmas are brown and the front wings generally are clear.

The abdomen has yellow-orange spots on the segments, which fade over time the older the dragonfly. If it is a much older one, it may not have spots at all.

Males and females look alike, except for the color of the face. If it is dark in color it is a male and if it is yellow-brown, a female.

The males patrol their territory gliding and flying in search of females.

I am guessing this is a girl in my garden.  Please enlarge any image for a very clear and close up view. I may change the theme of this blog because it does not show the images as well as they are taken.

 But this one above, is at Whirlpool State Park not far from my home, and is likely a male. There were about five males circling over the field, defending territory.

Of course, when you want to catch one flying, you need your telephoto lens handy. Guess what I did not have? Where I was in the park, it is very remote and I do not feel comfortable having more expensive equipment on me. So you can see him flying, I have enlarged the image.

This is Whirlpool State Park at about 9 AM this morning. It is one of the fields where the dragonflies were plentiful. The temperature was about 75° and great for me. I bet they wanted it a little warmer though since there were not many butterflies up and about as of yet. A few Sulfur Crested were fluttering around, though.

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11 thoughts on “Black Saddlebags Dragonfly

  1. This is one that I have yet to come across. What were you doing at the wetlands? For me, we are surrounded by water feature so dragonflies are everywhere. Mosquitoes too.

  2. This is a new fly for me. Great captures. Your blown up photo is pretty good even if you did not have your macro lens. I like the patterns on the wings from which its name comes.

  3. We just had two swarms of black saddle bag dragonflies on our property in Nj and really appreciate the beautiful photos. I am going to link your blog to my post so that folks can see how beautiful they are.Thank you.

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