The Dragonflies and Damselflies of North Carolina
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North Carolina's 189 Odonate species

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Related Species in LIBELLULIDAE: Number of records for 2023 = 0
Added in 2023 from a previous year = 1

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Striped Saddlebags (Tramea darwini) by Conrad Wernett, Alyssa Wernett
Compare with: Carolina Saddlebags   Red 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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Map
Click on county for list of all its records for Striped Saddlebags
Flight Charts
Distribution Breeds north only to the southern half of TX. However, it strays somewhat regularly to the East Coast of the United States. There are now records for seven NC counties -- Durham, Gates, Currituck, Dare, Carteret, Onslow, and Brunswick.
Abundance Formerly a very rare stray to the coast and lower Coastal Plain of NC, but increasing in records in the past few years (due to more observers?); now a rare coastal stray/visitor. Accidental inland (Durham County).
Flight Only in late summer and fall. The NC records occur between 9 August and 29 October. Many of the flight dates are from Merchants Millpond State Park in Gates County in 2014.
Habitat In NC, the species can occur anywhere, primarily near the coast, as it is a stray.
Behavior As with other saddlebags, adults spend most of the time in flight, perching infrequently. They often hover or glide, with seemingly little effort. Owing to the dark patch on the wings near the body, and its habit of flying at eye level or above, it could easily be overlooked as another saddlebags species or a Spot-winged Glider.
Comments This is a rare migrant/stray. Harry LeGrand, Jeff Pippen, and Ricky Davis saw one on 29 October 2006 at a golf course just north of Calabash (Brunswick County). Fortunately, it perched briefly, and Pippen and Davis got recognizable photos to document the record. Floyd and Signa Williams saw and netted two individuals (at least) over a two-day period in late August 2014 at Merchants Millpond State Park, obtaining several photos for confirmation. However, the observations did not stop there; they noted up to three at that site well into October! Conrad and Alyssa Wernett netted and photographed one, an adult male, at a man-made pond in Onslow County in 2018. John Petranka and Sally Gewalt photographed another adult male in nearby Carteret County, also in 2018. Brian Bockhahn photographed another in 2018, at Jockeys Ridge State Park on the Outer Banks of Dare County. Rob Van Epps photographed one on Ocean Isle Beach in Brunswick County in 2021. Duncan Cuyler is responsible for the other records, collecting one in Durham County and two in Currituck County.

NOTE: The scientific name was changed in early 2021 from Tramea calverti to Tramea darwini.
State Rank SZN
State Status
Global Rank G5
Federal Status
Synonym Tramea calverti
Other Name
Species account update: LeGrand on 2023-01-17 10:31:16

Photo Gallery for Striped Saddlebags   13 photos are shown. Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Rob Van Epps

Comment: Brunswick, 2021-10-23, Ocean Isle Beach; iNaturalist Record #99821779
Photo 2 by: Rob Van Epps

Comment: Brunswick, 2021-10-23, Ocean Isle Beach; iNaturalist Record #99821779
Photo 3 by: B. Bockhahn

Comment: Dare; OBU, 2018-10-18, Jockeys Ridge State Park
Photo 4 by: F. Williams, S. Williams

Comment: Gates, 2018-10-11, Merchants Millpond State Park - Possibly 3
Photo 5 by: John Petranka, Sally Gewalt.

Comment: Carteret, 2018-08-24, Fort Macon State Park (FOMA). Wetland adjacent to Yarrow's Loop nature trail. - Male.
Photo 6 by: John Petranka, Sally Gewalt.

Comment: Carteret, 2018-08-24, Fort Macon State Park (FOMA). Wetland adjacent to Yarrow's Loop nature trail. - Male.
Photo 7 by: Conrad Wernett, Alyssa Wernett

Comment: Onslow, 2018-08-18, Retention pond behind Circle-K, US Hwy 17N, Jacksonville - Single male netted on low perch and photographed
Photo 8 by: F. Williams, S. Williams

Comment: Gates, 2014-09-06, Merchants Millpond State Park - Caught and photographed
Photo 9 by: F. Williams, S. Williams

Comment: Gates, 2014-08-26, Merchants Millpond State Park - One perched for an extended time and allowed some more photos to be taken. Observed two flying within twenty feet of each other one time.
Photo 10 by: F. Williams, S. Williams

Comment: Gates, 2014-08-24, Merchants Millpond State Park - Caught one, observed another
Photo 11 by: F. Williams, S. Williams

Comment: Gates, 2014-08-24, Merchants Millpond State Park - Caught one, observed another
Photo 12 by: J. Pippen

Comment: Brunswick, 2006-10-29. with Harry LeGrand. Note the dark band paralleling the body at the base of the hindwing and amber coloration in the wing veins. Superficially similar to Hyacinth Glider, but Striped Saddlebags is larger, lacks a dorsal black stripe on the abdomen, and has a different thorax pattern.
Photo 13 by: J. Pippen

Comment: Brunswick, 2006-10-29. with Harry LeGrand. Note two pale thorax stripes on this dragon which was about the same size as, and a tad darker amber than, a Wandering Glider. In flight, the overall coloration was a tad darker amber than a glider.