Medium sized species with a distinctively club-shaped abdomen.

Males: black and yellow/ lime green.

Females: black and yellow.




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Species GroupDragonflies
Scientific NameGomphus vulgatissimus
Status & Distribution

Listed as Near Threatened in the British Odonata Red List 2008.

Very localised on rivers in England and Wales including the Thames, Arun, Dee, Severn, Wye and Teifi.


Riverine species typically associated with moderate to slow flowing water. It breeds in unpolluted, meandering rivers, which have a depositional nature.

Flight PeriodCommon Clubtail
Adult Identification
  • Length: 50mm
  • Medium sized with a distinctively club-shaped abdomen.
  • Eyes do not touch on top of the head.
  • Males: black with green markings and yellow spots near the end of the abdomen.
  • Females: black with yellow markings.
Larval Information

Distinct squat, flat body shape.

Pointed face.

  • Recreational use of rivers and river banks during the emergence period.
  • Excessive/unsympathetic river dredging.
  • Water pollution.
  • Riparian woodland deforestation.

Common Clubtail Management Profile 

Similar Species

The club-shaped body means this species is unlikely to be confused with any other UK species.