Common Clubtail - Gomphus vulgatissimus

Scientific Name: Gomphus vulgatissimus.

English Name: Common Clubtail or Club-tailed Dragonfly.

French Name: Le Gomphe vulgaire or le gomphus tres commun.

5 Key Characters:
  • the end of the male's abdomen is very enlarged.
  • the top of the last three abdominal segments are entirely black.
  • the black antehumeral (shoulder) and humeral stripes are wider than the yellow line separating them.
  • legs entirely black.
  • eyes greenish.
Lookalikes: To distinguish between the Gomphus spp that occur in this area, see our post on our daily blog Days on the Claise. There is nowhere else in Europe that so many Gomphids can be seen in the one area.

Habitat: Lower halves of rivers and streams, prefering a slow flow and sandy bottom (such as can be found in small calm lowland streams and small rivers), in full sun but surrounded by trees and bushes. Also reservoirs, gravel pits and large lakes if there is a bit of movement in the water. Sometimes seen far from water, in forest clearings. Males often perch on leaves, stones and the earth near the water.

Flight Period: May-June-July-August. Very short flight period of only a few weeks. Most emerge in May.

Status: Rare in the Brenne, but more common in the Touraine du Sud. Not the commonest Clubtail in this area (probably the rarest in fact).

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:

Photographs numbered from left to right and top to bottom. All photos will enlarge into a new window if you click on them. 1 - 2 male resting on a parked car near Chaumussay, May. 3 - 16 male in our orchard, May.

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