The British Dragonfly Society is on the hunt for this rare and beautiful dragonfly and we need your help!
The Common Clubtail dragonfly (Gomphus vulgatissimus) is listed as Near Threatened on the British Red List. It is an elusive species which is found on a limited number of slow flowing stretches of mature, lowland rivers in southern Britain, with the River Dee supporting the most northerly population.
We have been growing increasingly concerned in recent years about the status of the Common Clubtail, with reports from our Local Dragonfly Recorders suggesting the species might be declining. It is unknown whether this is due to a decrease in records or a genuine decline. Because of its elusive nature the current records for the Common Clubtail are patchy and many of these are dated. In order to establish the status of the species, we need to change that.
Clubtail Count is easy to take part in and could lead to your first glimpse of this beautiful insect. Once allocated a survey area, you will carry out a minimum of 3 visits between May and July, simply walking along the river bank looking for the Common Clubtail or its skin cast. We warn you, this can get addictive! You don't even need prior experience of dragonfly identification: in your volunteer's welcome pack, you will receive an ID guide, which tells you all you need to know to identify this dragonfly.
The map below shows the rivers we are interested in (Dee, Severn, Vyrnwy, Wye, Tywi, Teifi, Thames, Kennet and Arun) with the priority areas highlighted in red. The Rivers Irfon and Ithon (highlighted in orange on the map) are also of interest but of a lower priority.
If you would like to get involved, please email Project Coordinator, David Tompkins, or phone BDS Conservation Officer, Genevieve Dalley, on 07792231925.
Stephen Burch, BDS Local Dragonfly Recorder for Oxfordshire has created some additional guidelines for people looking for Common Clubtail exuviae, which can be downloaded here.
|22.4.17||River Thames, Reading||One exuvia - very early record|
|29.4.17||River Thames, Abingdon Lock, SU5097||A teneral (newly emerged) male spotted|
|3.5.17||River Severn, Bewdley||First emerged Clubtail|
|8.5.17||River Dee, Holt, SJ4152||Adult Clubtail|
|9.5.17||River Severn, Shrewsbury, SJ4813||Two exuviae|
|10.5.17||River Thames, Withymead Nature Reserve, SU5982 & SU6082||Two adults|
|10.5.17||River Thames, Shiplake||One exuvia|
|10.5.17||River Dee, Aldford||1 adult|
|11.5.17||River Severn, Shrewsbury, SJ4912||13 exuviae|
|12.5.17||River Severn, Shrewsbury, The Quarry Park||20 exuviae, 1 adult|
|12.5.17||River Dee, Cheshire||1 adult|
|13.5.17||River Thames, Goring||11 exuviae|
|14.5.17||River Severn, Shrewsbury, The Quarry Park||6 exuviae, 1 adult|
|14.5.17||River Wye, Radnorshire, SO2142||4 exuviae (and 1 teneral)|
|14.5.17||Upper Thames, SP3303||1 adult|
|14.5.17||River Dee, Holt||36 exuviae, 26 adults|
|15.5.17||River Wye, Radnorshire, SO2142||1 exuvia|
|17.5.17||River Dee, Holt||10 adults|
|18.5.17||River Wye, Radnorshire, SO2142, SO2042||2 adult, 2 exuviae, 1 male adult|
|20.5.17||River Thames, near Eynsham, Oxford||1 larva which emerged|
|21.5.17||River Thames, Marlow||1 adult female|
|21.5.17||River Thames, near Eynsham, Oxford||1 larva and 2 teneral adults (one rescued from a spider's web!)|
|22.5.17||River Severn, Shrewsbury||58 exuviae and 1 emerging female|
|22.5.17||River Thames, north of Sonning Bridge||1 exuvia|
|1.6.17||River Thames, north of Sonning Bridge||1 exuvia|