Gomphus vulgatissimus f - © David Kitching
Common Club-tail close-up of head of emerging adult showing widely separated eyes
Gomphus vulgatissimus m (Side View) - © David Kitching
Gomphus vulgatissimus m - © David Kitching
Common Club-tail exuvia (male, top view)
Gomphus vulgatissimus f (Front Close Up) - © David Kitching
Click on images to enlarge
The Common Club-tail (Gomphus vulgatissimus) is a medium sized species with a distinctively club-shaped abdomen as suggested by its common name. Females and teneral males are mainly black with extensive yellow markings on the thorax and abdomen. As the male matures most of the yellow markings turn green although the spots on the sides of abdominal segments 7-9 remain bright yellow. Unlike most dragonflies the eyes are separate and do not meet at the top of the head, which aids identification, and in mature adults the eyes are dull green.
Management Fact File
In Britain the Common Club-tail is a riverine species typically associated with moderate to slow flowing water. It breeds in unpolluted, meandering rivers, which have a depositional nature.
Status & Distribution
Very local. Some rivers in southern England and Wales (including the Thames, Arun, Dee, Severn, Wye and Teifi).
Unlikely to be confused with any other UK species.
Recreational use of rivers and excessive/unsympathetic river dredging and maintenance together with water pollution and habitat loss are among the threats to this species.