Shropshire Club Tail Survey - guest blog by Genevieve Dalley

Gomphus vulgatissimus. Photo: David Kitching

The British Dragonfly Society is excited to share with you the opportunity to get involved in the hunt for the elusive Common Club-tail Dragonfly!

Gomphus training. Photo: Graham FrenchThis absolutely stunning dragonfly has striking bright yellow and lime green markings on a black background and a distinctively clubbed ‘tail’. This species is highly localised, with the Severn being one of the few rivers in the UK the dragonfly can be found on. Our records for the Club-tail are patchy, with most records relatively old. This could indicate that populations of the Club-tail are in serious decline, or it could reflect the elusive behaviour of the species. This is the mystery we want to unravel on the Shropshire Severn –and we need your help!

Gomphus vulgatissimus. Photo:David KitchingYou don’t need to have any prior experience of dragonfly identification. The Common Club-tail is distinctively coloured and is also the only dragonfly species in the UK to have eyes which do not meet at the top of the head. The larvae and exuviae (shed larval skins) are also unique, with a heart-shaped head. With the help of our identification sheet, which you will receive in your survey pack, you will quickly learn to recognise the species. You can offer as little or great a time commitment as you feel able to and we will match you with an area which will suit your availability.

Gomphus vulgatissimus. Photo: Allan BrandonThe Common Club-tail is a magical species of dragonfly and taking part in this survey is sure to get you hooked on dragonfly recording!

To get involved, contact the survey co-ordinator David Tompkins

If you don’t live in Shropshire, there are still plenty of exciting dragonfly recording opportunities out there for you, including our Complete Lists project!

For more information on the British Dragonfly Society and how to get involved with dragonfly recording, visit their website or contact the Conservation Officer, Genevieve Dalley.

Happy Dragonfly Recording!