Dragonhunter eats Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Subject:  unknown dragonfly
Geographic location of the bug:  sidney, ohio
Date: 08/11/2021
Time: 05:53 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  As it was happening, I couldn’t identify the animal or its action but with a zoomed image from my camera I see that a dragonfly is eating the butterfly.  Later that day I found a wing from the butterfly under this power line.
I live in Sidney, Ohio, USA.  This picture was taken 2 Aug ’21.
I believe that I’ve identified the butterfly as an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.  I was excited to find what I believed to be the identification of the dragonfly.  It looks very much like a Male Southern Vicetail, Hemigomphus gouldii as pictured here (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Green_eyes_dragonfly_HNP_face_(16072822547).jpg).
I was disheartened when I learned that the Vicetail is indigenous to southeastern Australia so probably not my dragonfly.
Any help in its identification is greatly appreciated.
How you want your letter signed:  Charlie

Dragonhunter eats Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Dear Charlie,
Daniel has been in Northeast Ohio for two weeks now and the butterflies, Lightning Bugs and Cicadas are all amazing this year.  Your Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is a female as evidenced by the blue scales on the hind wings.  We turned to Ohio Dragonflies to identify this impressive hunter and we believe we have identified it as a Dragon Hunter on pg 44 where it states:  “
While not very common, when seen this dragonfly will be noticed and remembered. It is our largest clubtail and probably the heaviest of all Ohio dragonflies. Its large thorax and small head are distinctive. As the name suggests, it eats large prey including dragonflies up to the size of the swift river cruiser. They are very sensitive to pollution, and thus require clean streams. The distinctive, large (1 to 1.5-inch across) roundish-shaped larvae spend up to four years living under leaf litter and bark debris at the river’s edge.”  This BugGuide image is a very close match to the eyes and yellow thoracic markings evident in your image.  Thanks for submitting this awesome Food Chain image.

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bugman

BugMan aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. WhatsThatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

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