Red Mantled Saddlebags, Tramea onusta

The red-mantled saddlebags (Tramea onusta), also known as the red saddlebags, is a species of skimmer dragonfly that can be found in a large range that includes the Bahamas, Belize, Ontario in Canada, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Venezuela, and many states in America including Alabama, California, Florida, and Kansas. It prefers to reside in slow moving and still waters like ponds, lakes, rivers, ditches, and canals.

The red-mantled saddlebags varies in color depending upon the sex, although the wings of both males and females are translucent with dark red markings occurring at the base of each wing. Males are red in color, while females are dark orange or light brown in color. It is thought that this species prefers to breed near temporary pools of water where fish are not present, which protects the larvae from being eaten.

The red-mantled saddlebags is abundant throughout its range and holds a stable population trend. There are no threats to the species as a whole and it occurs in protected areas in the United States. Because of these factors, the red-mantled saddlebags appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Least Concern.”

Image Caption: Red Saddlebags (Tramea onusta), female, Oscar Scherer Park, Florida. Credit: D. Gordon E. Robertson/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)