Worcestershire Record No. 2 April 1997 p. 4


by Mike Averill

The Club-tailed Dragonfly (Gomphus vulgatissimus) is a nationally scarce dragonfly being the 13th rarest dragonfly in the British Isles. In Worcestershire it is found in 14 10km squares, 65 tetrads and 148 monads which probably makes the county the most important in the country for this species. Only Oxfordshire can claim as many 10km square records but Worcestershire has a much greater density of records in terms of monad records. This is a big responsibility to carry and it means that river habitat and water quality in the county must be protected and maintained.

The question is, was this county always as important as it is today? That is difficult to answer because the records are rather patchy for years prior to the 1980's.

Club-tailed records have been taken on the River Severn since the beginning of the century when J E Fletcher reviewed the insects of County in the Victoria County History. They have been recorded ever since and in the most recent survey they have been found in every 1 km square along the Severn. It seems then that the Severn has always been a stronghold. What is puzzling is the more recent noting of this species on the Rivers Teme and Avon. The first records close to the River Teme came in 1977 and near the River Avon in 1978, both of these sightings being made by Tony. Simpson. Since then there were many records made in the eighties and there is not much doubt that both rivers are quite important in their own right for this dragonfly. Could this be a comparatively recent development or was this species just overlooked ....... please let me know if you have any older records or any anecdotal information about these rivers.

It would also be useful to try and put some detail on the relative abundance of the Club-tailed Dragonfly on the Rivers Avon and Teme. Could anyone help with a census on these rivers? This would take place in mid May to mid June.

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