A dragonfly has no stinger, but a European bee-eater, Merops apiaster, will beat it senseless anyway, the same way it handles its namesake prey. If the fly’s wings break off, they are discarded, not eaten. The insect is then devoured as a single morsel, not as a mini-buffet of bite-size bits.
Image: Jözsef L. Szentpéteri/National Geographic online. [larger view].
I mentioned this last week, but I think it deserves a second mention: My contact, an editor at National Geographic, just sent me a link to a story and photoessay that details the courtship and breeding of European Bee-eaters, Merops apiaster. The story is fascinating and well-worth reading and the photographs, as always for National Geographic, brings tears of wonder to one’s eyes.