on this shot (above) note the pink and green highlights on the black
'saddlebags' that added much to this photograph.
Carmel River mouth, Monterey Co.
24 Sep 2006 [both photos above]
Saddlebags is a flier, not a percher, and thus most observations are of
it in flight. Indeed, when patrolling territories, the males may not
for hours. This poor flight shot (left) will have to do to illustrate
flight characters: it looks front-heavy and 'hunched' in flight, in a
profile, often with the abdomen held low and 'dragging' behind.
Manolis (2003) describes the characteristic
ovipositing in this genus:
"flying low in tandem over water, the male quickly releases the female,
who drops to the surface and taps a cluster of eggs off the tip of the
abdomen, then instantly the male recaptures her to fly on and repeat
process." This was been observed in Monterey County.
photo (left) Arroyo Seco
Lakes 5 Aug 2006
|Males and females look pretty much alike,
with females and youngsters
having a tendency to show yellow spots on the upper abdomen. Since only
a single brownish spot atop the 7th segment appears on the ode above, I
think the headline photos are of a male.
Black Saddlebags is a somewhat erratic
dragonfly, appearing and disappearing
from sites, possibly due to migratory movements. There is some thought
that southern and lowlands populations move north and/or upslope to
and their offspring later move south and downslope (Manolis 2003).
that accounts for the occurrence of the individual shown above. This
— and several others — were suddenly present along the edge of Odello
in late September, although none were seen there throughout the summer.
in MTY, breeding activity was observed at various inland lakes and farm
ponds in July-August. This map (right) shows some representative
More than 30 were at Arroyo Seco Lakes on 19 July 2004 (Rob Fowler,
Rovell), and ten at a small farm pond near Soledad 10 Aug 2006 (Don
Dave Keegan). As there were no specimens of this species taken in
years, the full date span is not known; 17 July-2 Oct is the span
established. Elsewhere in California, Black Saddlebags fly
- Manolis, T. 2003. Dragonflies and Damselflies of
California. Univ. of
Major identification web sites with much information on California
For sites with excellent photos to compare for identification or to
Many of these sites have links to other useful pages. Kathy Biggs's
is particularly useful in her selection of links.
All photos © Don Roberson 2007
Page created 24
Sep-2 Oct 2006