Scientific name: Gomphus vulgatissimus
The Common clubtail is on the wing in spring and summer. It is an elusive dragonfly that is easiest to see when it first emerges. It can be found along rivers in Southern England and Wales.
When to seeMay to July
AboutPreviously known as the Club-tailed Dragonfly, the Common clubtail is a medium-sized dragonfly on the wing from early May to July. It is elusive as an adult, mostly seen on emergence from its riverine habitat. Meandering rivers with silty substrates over a rocky bed are favoured by the burrowing larvae. Adults have a tightly synchronised emergence, with dense concentrations being found at favoured sites. Once emerged, adults quickly move away from the river to woodland up to 10km away, where they spend most of their time in the canopy of trees.
How to identifyThe Club-tailed Dragonfly is unlikely to be confused with any other UK species because its eyes are completely separated (they do not meet on the top of its head like many other species) and it has a distinctly club-shaped abdomen. Extensive black and yellow markings are visible on both males and females, though the yellow areas on the males mostly change to green as they mature.
In our area
The Common Clubtail is an uncommon species. It's Montgomeryshire distribution is restricted to the River Severn, between Newtown and the English border, as well as the lower reaches of the Vyrnwy. Do let us know if you see one.