Clubtailed Dragonfly

The Clubtailed Dragonfly is a striking dragonfly found on slow moving rivers

(c) Guido Gerding under licence from CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Latin name: Gomphus vulgatissimus


The Common Club-tailed Dragonfly gets its name from its club-shaped abdomen. Adults grow to 50mm long and are black with yellow markings. On males most of the yellow markings turn green. One very distinguishing feature is that, unlike most dragonflies, the eyes of the Common Clubtail do not meet at the top of the head, instead they are placed more on the side of the head, which must be an adaptation to give them an excellent field of view. Adults can be seen from May to July.


The Common Club-tailed Dragonfly is a riverine species. It prefers unpolluted rivers with moderate to slow flowing water.

Distribution and threats

Populations of Common Club-tailed Dragonfly are localised. It is found in a handful of rivers in southern England and Wales. They are currently listed as Near Threatened in the Red Data Book. Threats include river dredging, loss of habitat, and pollution.