Family Portrait: Papago Park's November Striped Saddlebags, Tramea calverti

The Striped Saddlebags has been recorded in several Arizona counties, but remains a scarce and irregular species, with most recent observations in the Phoenix (Maricopa Co.) area.

In early November 2012 a number of males were present at the same time at the Phoenix Papago Park, offering opportunities for observation and comparison between individuals, in particular with respect to the pale thoracic stripes that typify this species. Below are pictures of five different males seen 3 and 4 November.

Sooty Saddlebags, Tramea binotata, in Maricopa Co.: Fourth Arizona record.

Until now the Sooty Saddlebags, a  tropical species normally found in central and South America as well as in the Caribbean islands (e.g., Meurgey 2007: Argia 19/3, 11-13), had been found four times in the US, three of which in Arizona (2005: Pinal Co. - Bailowitz, personal comm; 2009: Graham Co.

Two male Tezpi Dancers, Argia tezpi, in Maricopa Co., AZ

A male Tezpi Dancer was observed at the Wild Horse Pass stream in Maricopa Co. on 24 October 2012 (see other News item). On 3 November 2012, a visit to the same location produced TWO males, one of which at the exact same location as 24 October and so presumably the same individual. These two males continued until at least 7 November - see images below.

Tezpi Dancer, Argia tezpi, in Maricopa Co., AZ: 2nd county record.

The Tezpi Dancer in Arizona is rarely encountered outside the southernmost portion of the state. On 24 October 2012 a male was present along the Wild Horse Pass stream in Maricopa Co., thereby providing the second county record of the species.

Of note, the first Maricopa Co. record of Tezpi Dancer was of a male found in November 2010 within 100 ft of the individual seen on 24 October 2012.

California Dancer look-alike, Cochise Co., AZ

Two Arizona Argia species that look alike and are often found together are the Aztec Dancer, A. nahuana and California Dancer, A. agrioides.

In the hand, males of the two species can be easily separated by examination of their appendages. In the field, the most reliable character is thought to be the black mark on the second abdominal segment (S2): round spot in Aztec Dancer vs. elongated stripe in California Dancer (Paulson 2009).

Spot-winged Meadowhawk, Sympetrum signiferum, in N. Cochise Co., AZ

The Spot-winged Meadowhawk in AZ is regularly found in the Southeast corner of the state (Paulson 2009) including southern Cochise Co. 

On 14 October 2012 a male was found in Hot Springs Canyon, just a few miles South of the county limit. This record is one of the northernmost for the species in the state (Richard Bailowitz, personal communication.)

Mayan Setwing, Dythemis maya in Cochise Co., AZ: new late flying date for the state

The Mayan Setwing is a rare AZ species that has been found only in Cochise and Santa Cruz counties.

On 13-14 October 2012, 10-15 males and one female (observed in copulation) were found in Hot Springs Canyon, Muleshoe Ranch Nature Conservancy Area, Cochise Co. This record provides a new late flying date for the species in the state.

Below are pictures of three different males.

White-tailed Sylph, Macrothemis pseudimitans, in Cochise Co., AZ: 2nd USA record

The White-tailed Sylph is a Mexican species with a distribution extending to South America and that had until now been found once in the USA along the Mexican border (San Bernardino Wildlife Refuge, AZ, 2007; Odonata Central.)

A male was found on 14th October 2012 in the Hot Springs Canyon, Muleshoe Ranch Natural Conservancy Area, Cochise Co., AZ, thus providing a second US record for the species.


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