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

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Sort Species by: Family   Scientific Name       [ Undocumented ]
Related Species in LIBELLULIDAE: Number of records for 2024-00-00 = 30
Added in 2024-00-00 from a previous years = 2

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e.g., flight data, high counts, and earliest/latest dates can be seen.
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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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Click on county for list of all its records for Carolina Saddlebags
Flight Charts
Distribution Statewide; obviously occurs in all 100 counties, though lacking a record just for Mitchell County.
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 late 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 feet 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 Rank S5
State Status
Global Rank G5
Federal Status
Other Name
Species account update: LeGrand on 2023-01-17 10:27:49

Photo Gallery for Carolina Saddlebags   46 photos are available.
Only the most recent 30 are shown.
Other NC Galleries:    Jeff Pippen    Will Cook    Ted Wilcox
Photo 1 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Alexander, 2023-05-11, Rocky Face Mountain Recreational Area
Photo 2 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Cumberland, 2022-07-04, Jessup's Mill Pond
Photo 3 by: John Noble

Comment: Forsyth, 2021-08-28,
Photo 4 by: Jan Hansen

Comment: Orange, 2021-04-08, Brumley Forest North-Silo Pond
Photo 5 by: Jan Hansen

Comment: Orange, 2021-04-08, Brumley Forest North-Silo Pond
Photo 6 by: p dixon

Comment: Madison, 2020-06-20
Photo 7 by: Jan Hansen

Comment: Orange, 2020-04-03, Brumley Forest North-Silo Pond
Photo 8 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Currituck, 2019-06-24, pond at Currituck Community Park, Maple
Photo 9 by: Salman Abdulali

Comment: Pitt, 2019-06-17, VOA [Voice of America] site C
Photo 10 by: B. Bockhahn

Comment: Bladen, 2019-04-15, Bay Tree State Natural Area
Photo 11 by: Mike Turner

Comment: Craven, 2018-09-01, Croatan National Forest, powerline ROW at intersection of Catfish Lake Rd. and Little Rd.
Photo 12 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Transylvania, 2018-06-27, Gorges State Park (GORG) - males patrolling over Raymond Fisher Pond
Photo 13 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Jackson, 2018-06-25, Pond beside Breedlove Road, 5 km northeast of Cashiers
Photo 14 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Beaufort, 2018-05-25, Voice of America Game Land - female
Photo 15 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Clay, 2018-05-12, Beaver pond on Buck Creek Road - Male and Female
Photo 16 by: Barbara McRae

Comment: Macon, 2018-04-13 - Cruising in wetland near Little Tennessee River
Photo 17 by: Vin Stanton

Comment: Buncombe, 2018-04-03, Sandy Mush Game Land, Bear Creek area & Redmond pond - Female
Photo 18 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Jones, 2017-10-03, Brock Mill Pond, Trenton
Photo 19 by: Mark Shields

Comment: New Hanover, 2017-09-30, Carolina Beach State Park (CABE) bioblitz
Photo 20 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Duplin, 2017-09-22, Pond and ditch beside Quiet Water Drive, Chinquapin
Photo 21 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Brunswick, 2017-09-16, Ev-Henwood Nature Preserve, Winnabow
Photo 22 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Lenoir, 2017-08-01, Neuseway Nature Park, Kinston
Photo 23 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Alleghany, 2017-06-28, Little Glade Mill Pond, Blue Ridge Parkway
Photo 24 by: Jim Petranka and Becky Elkin

Comment: Yancey, 2017-05-16, Breeding in permanent pond near the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Photo 25 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Bladen, 2017-05-07, Horseshoe Lake, Suggs Mill Pond Game Land
Photo 26 by: Mark Shields

Comment: New Hanover, 2016-11-19, limesink ponds at Carolina Beach State Park
Photo 27 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Onslow, 2016-11-16, Stones Creek Game Land - female ovipositing
Photo 28 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Onslow, 2015-11-06, Stones Creek Game Land
Photo 29 by: Mark Shields

Comment: Pender, 2015-09-01, Holly Shelter Game Land
Photo 30 by: Mark Shields

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