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Striped Saddlebags



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Tramea calverti

Muttkowski, 1910


Order Odonata
Suborder Anisoptera
Superfamily Libelluloidea
Family Libellulidae
Genus Tramea
Species calverti Muttkowski, 1910 [Tramea]


Identification

This tropical species has expanded its northern range into Texas. It has a pale yellow face that turns red in mature males and the vertex is metallic violet. The thorax is brown with 2 oblique pale stripes laterally. The wings are clear with a broad basal brown stripe in the hindwing. The legs are pale basally and darker beyond. The abdomen is yellowish in females and red in mature males. Segments 8-10 are black dorsally.

Size

Total length: 44-49 mm; abdomen: 30-33 mm; hindwing: 37-42 mm.

Similar Species

This is the only saddlebag glider in the region with a striped thorax. It is most similar to the smaller Hyacinth Glider (Miathyria marcella), but it lacks the complete middorsal black stripe on the abdomen of that species.

Habitat

Temporary and permanent ponds and slow streams.

Discussion

This species has been found as far north as New York and Massachusetts. It is widely distributed in Texas, but is most commonly encountered in the southern portions of the state. It is typical of the genus in having a strong steady, high flight, often not coming below two meters. They will perch horizontally at the tips of tall grasses and branches with a clear view of intruders in open fields and around ponds. The female lays eg gs in a manner typical of the genus, as previously described.

Distribution

Southern Arizona, central and south Texas straying up along east coast; also Mexico, West Indies and Central America south to Argentina.