Subject: Dragonfly variant or something else altogether?
Location: Houston, Texas
October 6, 2012 9:35 am
October, Houston TX. Looks like a dragonfly with bee/wasp markings and fuzz. Two large black leaflike appendages. About 2.5” long (based on the brick it’s perched on).
You are correct that this is a Dragonfly. It is one of the Saddlebags in the genus Tramea. It most closely resembles the Black Saddlebags, Tramea lacerata, especially the individual in this photo from BugGuide. The info page on BugGuide states: “Large dark ‘saddlebags’ on hindwings distinctive. Could be confused with Carolina or Red Saddlebags in poor light. Flies constantly, often gliding, perches infrequently.” It is reiterated later that the Black Saddlebags “Seldom perches” which makes your photograph a lucky snap.