Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Black Saddlebags

If you drive west across Washington on I-90, you should stop at the overlook just before you reach the Columbia River. There, on 8 July, Erika and I encountered dozens of large flying dragonflies. Often they were attached pairs. We chased single dragonflies until one finally perched on the dry vegetation. The black patches on their hind wings suggested Black Saddlebags.

This behavior is typical of the species. After mating, males and females fly in tandem until they are over water. The male releases the female so that she can drop her eggs into the water. He reunites with her after she deposits her eggs, until she is ready to oviposit once again (Kerst and Gordon).

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