Red-saddled Saddlebags (four species)

Four species of red-saddled Trameas have been recorded in Arizona: Red (common), Striped (uncommon), Sooty (vagrant), and Antillean Saddlebags (rare). Note that coloration in the Sooty Saddlebags changes with age: Mature individuals are completely dark whereas immature individuals are mostly red. This section, therefore, applies only to immature individuals of the species. 

The Red Saddlebags has a large red saddle with irregular margins on the hind wings. By contrast, the hind wings of the Striped, Antillean, and immature Sooty Saddlebags have a narrow brown-reddish saddle with smooth edges.  

To separate Striped, Antillean, and immature Sooty Saddlebags, focus on the coloration of the thorax and the tip of the abdomen, and on the length of the cerci.

Male Comparison


Lateral views of the head/thorax of the male Red, Antillean, Striped, and immature Sooty Saddlebags, AZ.

Abdomen coloration and appendages


  • Black coloration limited to top of abdominal segments 8-10: Red or Antillean Saddlebags
  • Abdominal segments 8-10 are completely black or almost so: Striped or Immature Sooty Saddlebags
  • In addition: Underside of abdominal segments is red in Antillean Saddlebags whereas it is black in Immature Sooty Saddlebags


  • Upper appendages (cerci) are relatively short: Red or Striped Saddlebags
  • Cerci are distinctly longer than in the other two species: Antillean or Immature Sooty Saddlebags

Lateral views of the male appendages of the Red, Antillean, Striped, and Immature Sooty Saddlebags, AZ.

Pictures illustrating the underside of the abdomen in the Antillean and Immature Sooty Saddlebags