Troy Mullens from TX., USA posted an ID challenge in his high-octane nature blog, ICU Nature with the following image.
The correct answer was commented by only one person, who happened to be yours truly!
The dragonfly in question, Red Saddlebag Tramea onusta does not occur in Sri Lanka. However, we do have two related Tramea species here.
The name “saddlebag” is given for dragonflies belonging to the genus, Tramea considering that they have a dark band at the base of their hindwing, reminiscent of saddlebags on a horse’s saddle. The Sri Lankan representatives have not been given this peculiar name by the authors of our popular dragonfly guide. Instead they are referred as “Gliders”—which is another named used for species belong to the genus Tramea due to their ‘gliding’ flight habits. (Note: Not all Gliders are Tramea species.)
In late April, I was able to observe the emergence of the Sociable Glider Tramea limbata in my dragonfly pond. First, this is how its adult male looks.
Most dragonflies emerge under the cover of darkness in order to escape predation—especially from birds. In my pond, the nymphs come out of water to begin their transformation (into winged dragonflies) typically at around 8.00 p.m. And it can take several hours until the final winged insect appears.
The nymph of Sociable Glider shown below was seen climbing the vertical wall of my pond in its deepest section (4 feet) just pass 9.00 p.m., on 29 April. After coming out of the water, the nymph found it difficult to negotiate the last few inches of the vertical wall. And in trying to push itself, it slipped and fell back into the water. I then collected it and placed it on the outer wall of the pond, which serves as the cradle for most of my dragonflies.
The the most crucial episode of this emergence drama unfolded pass midnight in what was a pretty sleepless night for me with a couple of Dawn Dropwings also emerging. Here are some of the shots of this dragon birth.
This was fired at 0004 hours on 30th April.
At 0009 hours.
At 0022 hours. It has now done an upside down hanging crunch to grab its empty outerskin.
A side on view at 0032 hours.
Call me a dragonfly fanatic, but this newly emerged dragonfly (teneral) was taken at 2.41 a.m. I had some rest in between.
And finally this at 2.47 a.m. before calling it a day!
You can make out the 'saddlebag' in this.
Dragons in my garden Part 1
Dragons in my garden Part 2
Dawn of a Dropwing
Scrabble and dragonfly tips
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