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, Avon, Teme, Vyrnwy, Wye, Tywi, Teifi, Thames, Kennet, Otter and Arun.


Learn more about the Common Clubtail


Choose your 1km survey square(s)

Visit the Clubtail Count registration map here to pick which 1km square(s) you would like to survey for the Clubtail Count this year. You may wish to view the area on google maps or a more detailed OS grid map first to check access etc.

You will also be automatically signed up to the Clubtail Count mailing list for information and updates related to this project.


Map key:

Available Priority: priority square for surveying (has been surveyed previously by the Clubtail Count project)

Available Historic: priority square for surveying (has yet to be surveyed by the Clubtail Count project but have Clubtail records from before 2017)

Available: non priority, available squares

Pending: square has been requested by another volunteer

Red. Taken: square has been taken by another volunteer

Downloadable instructions and resources

If you would like to take part in the 2019 survey please contact our Conservation Officer to be put on the mailing list: ku.gr1571347437o.sei1571347437lfnog1571347437ard-h1571347437sitir1571347437b@noi1571347437tavre1571347437snoc1571347437