Clubtail Count




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.


We are interested in the rivers Dee, Severn, Vyrnwy, Wye, Tywi, Teifi, Thames, Kennet, Otter and Arun. We will shortly be providing a map for volunteers to allocate themselves a monad of their choice. In the meantime, if you would like to get involved, please email Project Coordinator, Genevieve Dalley, on

Click here if you would like more information about the Common Clubtail.

This year we are launching a new citizen science survey aimed at understanding the decline in White-legged Damselfly populations in some areas: The White-legged Damselfly Investigation. As the Common Clubtail and White-legged Damselfly sometimes inhabit the same rivers, if you would like to also record White-legged Damselflies within your monad, you can find all you need to know here. This additional recording can be done at the same time as Clubtail Count, involving no extra work! 

Clubtail Count 2017 - The Results! 


Thanks to the hard work of all the volunteers, we’ve had a fantastic number of records to gather and analyse from last year’s Clubtail Count survey. And here are the results! Click on the PDF below to view to the full report.