Dragonflies Gotta Eat! (Pictures of Dragonflies Feeding)
Copyright 2016 by Dick Locke.  All Rights Reserved.  Contact and Image Use Information  Primary Dragonfly Page here.  Regular fly pictures are here.  Bug page here.

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 a Bee!

Dragonfly eating what looks like a honeybee.  Best guess: a very old and beat up female Great Blue Skimmer (Libellula vibrans).  Bugguide link.


Dragonfly Mouth Close-up

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).

"I'll Bite Your Head Off"

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!


Dragonfly Feeding on Assassin Bug

I'm guessing this is a Skimmer but I need to review that further.

Look Ma, No Hands!

Complete confidence here as the dragonfly is not bothering to secure the prey with the hands, or front legs, or whatever you call them ;-)

Dragonfly Finishing a Bug

Skimmer with the Nikon D750 & Nikon 200mm macro lens.

Needham's Skimmer (with Prey)

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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