Dragonflies are amazingly efficient predators. This page will have some photographs of them dining. May not be for the squeamish. You have been warned!
Dragonfly eating what looks like a honeybee. Best guess: a very old and beat up female Great Blue Skimmer (Libellula vibrans). Bugguide link.
I'm amazed by how wide these guys can open their "jaws." This guy is chomping on what I believe is a ladybug (sadly). Here's someone's blog post that shows dragonfly head and mouth parts, labeled (scroll down the page).
At first I thought the dragonflies were flying around mating, but it was dinner, not sex. I make this to be a female Pondhawk eating a female Common Whitetail dragonfly. Remove head, eat!
I'm guessing this is a Skimmer but I need to review that further.
Complete confidence here as the dragonfly is not bothering to secure the prey with the hands, or front legs, or whatever you call them ;-)
Skimmer with the Nikon D750 & Nikon 200mm macro lens.
This is from the backyard, May 2015. If you look carefully you can see its prey which I suspect (and hope) to be one of that big nasty mosquitoes we're seeing after all the rains. Thanks again to Gil who provided the ID: This is a female-type skimmer, family Libellulidae. There are two species in your area that are almost identical: Golden-winged and Needham's Skimmers. They are told apart by the markings on the sides of the thorax. I can see just enough of that in your photo to suspect this is a female or immature male Needham's Skimmer (Libellula needhami). After viewing the image below: Based on the lateral view, it is confirmed: Needham's Skimmer. Image Details: Nikon D750 Camera, 200mm f4 macro lens aperture priority f8, 1/1600s, auto-ISO 1000, matrix metering. I used the fine resolution JPEG out of the camera, vivid setting, plus HDR toning in Photoshop at default settings, but with a fade to just saturation.
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