Gomphus – Clubtails

 Gomphus vulgatissimus (m) Common Clubtail WP

Common Clubtail – Club-tailed Dragonfly – Gomphus vulgatissimus – UK – European – Dragonfly photo

Regarding the Common Clubtail – Club-tailed Dragonfly ( Gomphus vulgatissimus ) I was with the National Recorder, Bob Merritt, on the River Dee, Cheshire UK in 1985 when he found the first exuvia some 140 miles further north than it had previously been recorded in England. Our search had been based upon the thought that the Rivers Dee and Severn rise relatively close to each other in the Welsh mountains. Unfortunately as Cheshire Recorder I was on the Welsh bank of the river but after a twelve mile round journey we arrived at almost the exact opposite point on the Cheshire bank. Here after much searching we found the first Cheshire exuvia, the photograph of which is shown below. The following year whilst showing the then Gloucestershire Recorder Sonia Holland around some of the Cheshire dragonfly sites on the 7th June 1986 I was fortunate enough to find the first ever adult of this species (See first image below).

The Common Clubtail  has increased considerably in both numbers recorded, and sites at which it has been found, along the River Dee in the past fifteen years. It is the most common and widespread Gomphid in Northern Europe.

Males have deeper black and darker green colouring on the thorax and abdomen than others in the family. The last segments are significantly club shaped. Markings on the thorax are important in separating the different Gomphids. The yellow on young males changes to green with maturity and the pale antehumeral stripes are thinner than the black stripes on either side. The eyes are green and the legs completely black. A yellow stripe runs centrally down the black abdomen but stops at S8-10.
Females are similar but with a slightly broader abdomen and of course the rounded rather than incised inner hind wing of the male.

Gomphus vulgatissimus (ten m) Common Clubtail W.jpg

Gomphus vulgatissimus ex Common Clubtail img169-1

River Dee - nr Aldford - Cheshire CS5


Gomphus vulgatissimus (m) Common Clubtail D 1 CS5 P9-1.jpg


Gomphus vulgatissimus (ten m) Common Clubtail WP 8-4354


Gomphus vulgatissimus (ten m)


Gomphus vulgatissimus (ten f)


Gomphus vulgatissimus (f) Common Clubtail S 586 CS5 P9-1.jpg