The Dragonflies and Damselflies of North Carolina
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North Carolina's 187 Odonate species

Sort Species by: Family   Scientific Name       [ Undocumented ]
Related Species in LIBELLULIDAE: Number of records added in 2020 = 36
Added in 2020 from previous years = 2 (1903-04-07) (2019-05-15)

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Carolina Saddlebags (Tramea carolina) by Mark Shields
Compare with: Red Saddlebags   Striped Saddlebags  
Identification Tips: Move the cursor over the image, or tap the image if using a mobile device, to reveal ID Tips.
Note: these identification tips apply specifically to mature males; features may differ in immature males and in females.

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mapClick on county for list of all its records for Carolina Saddlebags
flight charts
distribution Statewide, with only three counties (two in the mountains) lacking records. Obviously occurs in all 100 counties.
abundance Common and widespread in the Coastal Plain and Piedmont, and can be very common at times in the Coastal Plain, especially close to the coast. Fairly common in the mountains.
flight In the Coastal Plain, it flies almost throughout the odonate flight season -- very late March to mid-November; however, not numerous in the spring. In the Piedmont, it also begins in late March, but the latest date is just mid-October. In the mountains, it has also been seen as early as late March, but the last date is in late September.
habitat Breeds at ponds, lakes, marshes, and other open, still waters.
behavior Males are often seen flying over ponds and lake margins, usually higher above water than other species, and perching on twigs farther from shore than most species. Adults are most frequently seen in gliding flight well above head height, typically 8-15' off the ground, usually over open country. They seemingly can stay airborne for an hour or longer, and observers often get impatient waiting for such an individual to come to a perch.
comments This and the Black Saddlebags are frequently seen gliding over one's head when an observer is walking near the beach, or in a field, or in an open garden, or near a large pond. The two can be difficult to distinguish until they appear in front of a dark background and the observer can see the abdomen color (or the large pale abdomen spot of the Black Saddlebags). This species is partially migratory, as large numbers can at times be seen along the coast in fall.
state_status
S_rank S5
fed_status
G_rank G5
date_spread [Overwinter:] [Date Spread:] [No Late Date:] [Split on Feb:] [Default:]
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Species account update: LeGrand1234

Photo Gallery for Carolina Saddlebags   41 photos are available.
Only the most recent 30 are shown.
Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: p dixon

Comment: Madison, 2020-06-20,
Photo 2 by: Jan Hansen

Comment: Orange, 2020-04-03, Brumley Forest North-Silo Pond
Photo 3 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Currituck, 2019-06-24, pond at Currituck Community Park, Maple
Photo 4 by: Salman Abdulali

Comment: Pitt, 2019-06-17, VOA site C
Photo 5 by: B. Bockhahn

Comment: Bladen, 2019-04-15, Bay Tree State Natural Area
Photo 6 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Craven, 2018-09-01, Croatan N.F., powerline ROW at intersection of Catfish Lake Rd. and Little Rd.
Photo 7 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Transylvania, 2018-06-27, Gorges State Park (GORG) - males patrolling over Raymond Fisher Pond
Photo 8 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Jackson, 2018-06-25, Pond beside Breedlove Road, 5 km northeast of Cashiers
Photo 9 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Beaufort, 2018-05-25, Voice of America Game Land - female
Photo 10 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Clay, 2018-05-12, Beaver pond Buck Creek Road - Male and Female
Photo 11 by: Barbara McRae

Comment: Macon, 2018-04-13, - Cruising in wetland near Little Tennessee River
Photo 12 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Buncombe, 2018-04-03, Bear Creek Gamelands & Redmond pond - Female, Bear Creek Gamelands
Photo 13 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Jones, 2017-10-03, Brock Mill Pond, Trenton
Photo 14 by: Mark Shields

Comment: New Hanover, 2017-09-30, Carolina Beach State Park (CABE) bioblitz
Photo 15 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Duplin, 2017-09-22, Pond and ditch beside Quiet Water Drive, Chinquapin
Photo 16 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Brunswick, 2017-09-16, Ev-Henwood Nature Preserve, Winnabow
Photo 17 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Lenoir, 2017-08-01, Neuseway Nature Park, Kinston
Photo 18 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Alleghany, 2017-06-28, Little Glade Mill Pond, Blue Ridge Parkway
Photo 19 by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin

Comment: Yancey, 2017-05-16, Breeding in permanent pond near the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Photo 20 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Bladen, 2017-05-07, Horseshoe Lake, Suggs Mill Pond Game Land
Photo 21 by: Mark Shields

Comment: New Hanover, 2016-11-19, limesink ponds at Carolina Beach State Park
Photo 22 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Onslow, 2016-11-16, Stones Creek Game Land - female ovipositing
Photo 23 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Onslow, 2015-11-06, Stones Creek Game Land
Photo 24 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Pender, 2015-09-01, Holly Shelter Game Land
Photo 25 by: Mark Shields

Comment: New Hanover, 2015-08-06, Carolina Beach State Park - 3 at Lily Pond, 1 along Cape Fear River near marina
Photo 26 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Carteret, 2015-07-01, Patsy Pond Nature Trail, Croatan National Forest
Photo 27 by: Kristy Baker

Comment: Dare; OBM, 2015-06-10, Buxton Woods Trail
Photo 28 by: Conrad Wernett, Alyssa Wernett, Matt Anderson

Comment: Richmond; C, 2015-05-03, - Never uncommon, several spotted at various sandhill bodies of water.
Photo 29 by: Conrad Wernett

Comment: Onslow, 2014-06-29, - Pairs at retention pond, both males and females in front yard flying
Photo 30 by: Owen McConnell

Comment: Orange, 2014-06-07, Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area