Wisconsin Odonata Survey

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Tramea onusta  Hagen, 1861
Red Saddlebags


Libellulidae, Skimmer Family

Status-Global/State:

Global: G5     Wisconsin: S3    

Distinguishing Characteristics:

The red saddlebags is easily identified by its wing patterns, varying from 1.6 to 1.9 inches in the body length. On the hindwings, the basal 1/5 of the wings are reddish to dark brown, with the patches being smaller than those of the Carolina saddlebags. There are clear "windows" in the hindwing bands. The thorax is brown. The end of abdomen has small black dorsal spots with pale sides. Juvenile males and the females have red-brownish abdomens and faces. The abdomen becomes pale red in mature males, differing from the Carolina saddlebags males' bright red abdomen. The face also becomes red.

Description of Habitat/Range:

Found through much of the United States, this species is more common in southwest and possibly migratory toward to the east. Like the Carolina saddlebags, the red saddlebags prefers ponds, lakes, swamps, and slow streams, including temporary ponds, and also avoids muddy water. It is occasionally seen throughout Wisconsin, but more commonly in the southern half of the state.

Flight Season:

The flight season extends from as early as late May to as late as early October in Wisconsin. Northbound migrants arrive in late spring and early summer and their offspring emerge and head south starting in mid-August.


Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
<1%
(1)
33%
(69)
37%
(78)
11%
(23)
17%
(36)
2%
(5)
Shading illustrates monthly percentages of the total flight season records for the species. Each flight season record is a unique date/location/observer combination where one or more adult or an exuvia was recorded (excludes nymphs). The actual number of flight season records for each month is shown in parentheses.

Flight seasons begin earlier in the southern part of the state, often by a week or more. Also, flight charts may not be accurate for rare species because of few data available.
View user-submitted photos

(Click on photos to enlarge)
Photo of Male red saddlebags
Male red saddlebags. © Dan Jackson

Male red saddlebags
Photo of Male red saddlebags
Male red saddlebags. © Dan Jackson

Male red saddlebags
Photo of Immature male red saddlebags
Immature male red saddlebags. © Dan Jackson

Immature male red saddlebags
Photo of Female red saddlebags
Female red saddlebags. © Dan Jackson

Female red saddlebags
Photo of Female red saddlebags
Female red saddlebags. © Dan Jackson

Female red saddlebags
Photo of Male and female red saddlebags
Male and female red saddlebags. © Dan Jackson

Male and female red saddlebags



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