black saddlebag

The black saddlebags dragonfly is distinctive for its black splotches that hug the body.

I love when the name of a species is spot on with how it looks.

This week, I present to you the black saddlebags dragonfly.

Notorious for not sitting still long enough for a picture, this individual was very cooperative.

As you see from the accompanying photo the common name of black saddlebags was derived from the black splotches that hug the body. You likely will not mistake it for another dragonfly which is always the naturalist’s dream … to limit species confusion.

The range of the black saddlebags is vast, covering most of North America. You might see it gliding near marshes or ditches.

I saw this one at the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge near Hennepin. It was part of a bioblitz effort to catalog as many different species last weekend as possible. My siting occurred about 30 yards off the main lake on Sunday morning.

Dragonfly hunting in the morning yields good results for perched dragonflies because they generally still are resting and waiting for the morning sun to jump start their energy.

There are 18 known species of dragonfly/damselflies from the site.

Reach Trevor Edmonson at

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