Friday, August 31, 2012

Black Saddlebags

On Wednesday, August 29, I traveled first down to Gooseberry Neck, where I first laid on the sand and photograph some of the shorebirds and then obtained more photographs of the Black Scoters.  I went over to the field station at Allens Pond, hoping to obtain some more macro photographs of the butterflies and other creatures in the butterfly garden.  However, there was a stiff wind blowing, which made it difficult to photograph.  But never say never, I walked down along the trail to see if there was anything interesting to photograph.  During my walk, I noticed a number of large dragonflies that seem to have very dark hind wings.  The dragonflies seem to be always on the wing, although occasionally they would hover..  I found one area, somewhat protected from the wind and one or two dragonflies would hover in this area.  I set up the tripod with the macro lens and with pre-focusing, I was able to capture one of the dragonflies in flight. Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerata) The dragonfly then landed and allowed me time to obtain more images.  When I got home and downloaded the pictures into my computer and utilized.  "A Field Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of Massachusetts.",  I found that I had another life species of dragonfly - Black Saddlebags.
The Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerata) is one of the skimmer dragonfly species that are found throughout North America.  He gets its name from its distinctive wings with characteristic black blotches at the proximal end, making the dragonfly appear as it is swearing saddlebags.  Black Saddlebags of found out through much of Mexico and the United States as far north as Maine, northernmost Vermont, and Montana.  It ranges self to Baja California and is also found on the Hawaiian Islands the Florida Keys, Bermuda and Cuba.  In Canada, they are found in Qu├ębec, Ontario and British Columbia..
The Black Saddlebags is a relatively large dragonfly at about 5 centimeters in length. The body is thin and black, and the female may have lighter spotting or mottling dorsally. The head is much wider than the rest of the body and is dark brown in color.
Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerata)
Some populations of this dragonfly migrate.  Both the larvae and adult forms are predators of mosquitoes, so they are a highly helpful insect to have in the wet areas where they congregate.
Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerata)

Everything that I have read about the Black Saddlebags is that they usually do not perch, so I was very lucky in getting one to stay on the twig of the tree and allow me to photograph it.