RED SADDLEBAGS
Tramea onusta

So far, the only records for Red Saddlebags in Monterey County were individuals seen during June-September 2004, an apparent flight year for this species. Red Saddlebags is resident in southern California but 'erupts' northward from time to time; it appears that summer 2004 was one of those times.

Rob Fowler reported the first one on 8 June 2004 near the Big Sur River mouth in Andrew Molera State Park. He thereafter saw a few daily throughout June and July during his avian surveys for the Big Sur Ornithology Lab. Later that same summer, Steve Rovell saw a female in his Marina yard on 6 Sep 2004, but efforts to capture or photograph it were unsuccessful.

This is one of only two species found on the MTY checklist that is supported solely by sight records. It is hoped photographs will be obtained in the near future. Identification is covered by Manolis (2003).

The map shows the only reported locations for Red Saddlebags in MTY to date: at the Big Sur River mouth and at Marina. It likely occurs widely in the lowlands, both along the coast and inland, during eruptive flight years. The species occurs widely in southern California, using habitats similar to Black Saddlebags.

Elsewhere in California, this species has a flight season ranging from April to October (Manolis 2003). The MTY observations to date stretch from June into September.

Literature cited:
  • Manolis, T. 2003. Dragonflies and Damselflies of California. Univ. of Calif. Press, Berkeley.
Web resources:
Major identification web sites with much information on California odes include: For sites with excellent photos to compare for identification or to simply enjoy, see: Many of these sites have links to other useful pages. Kathy Biggs's site is particularly useful in her selection of links.

All photos © Don Roberson 2007

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Page created 8 Mar 2007