Fiery red patches on the back wings on a fast-flying Red Saddlebags are matched in tone by the red-streaked tail.
Skimmers are a group of dragonfly that are commonly found across the continent and some come in a bright array of color. Red Saddlebags skimmers are a fine example of this. They have round, bright red patches of color on transparent wings. The placement and shape of these patches resemble the saddlebags carried by horses or mules. Males have a red body and abdomen while females have an orange-brown body. Males are territorial and fly the perimeter of their territory to protect boundaries from infringement.
Like most skimmers, this species circulates near slow-moving water: ponds, creeks, small streams, lagoons, and lakes. Females lay fertilized eggs in the water. The offspring look very different from their adult form and are called naiads. These young skimmers live in the water and eat insects and other aquatic animals until they are ready to molt into their winged adult form. Adults are most active from late spring to mid-autumn. Warmer climates experience longer spans of activity than colder ones.
Scientific Name: Tramea onusta
Other Name(s): Red-Mantled Saddlebags
Dragonfly or Damselfly
Size (Adult; Length): 39mm to 46mm (1.52in to 1.79in)
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