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2017 BDS Clubtail Count in Oxfordshire

In recent years there has been increasing concern about the status of the Clubtail Dragonfly, with reports suggesting the species may 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 Clubtail Dragonfly are patchy and many are dated.

In order to establish the status of the species, we need to change that.   The 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 be asked to carry out a minimum of 3 visits between May and July, simply walking along the river bank looking for the Clubtail Dragonfly or its skin cast (exuvia). 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.  

In Oxfordshire the plan is to cover the full length of the River Thames through the county and counts will be made on a 1km x 1km square basis – so as many counters as possible are needed!  

To maintain interest during survey, I would be delighted to receive details of any Clubtails you find anywhere along the River Thames. If you find a spent exuvia, an emerging adult or a free-flying adult please let me know as soon as possible by e-mail and I will post  in the table below as soon as I can. I will need to know where and when you saw it and whether it was an exuvia, emerging adult or a free flying one.

If you would like to take part, please get in touch as soon as possible with the survey organisers at the BDS. For their contact and other details see I’d also be interested to hear from you.

Finding exuviae and emerging adults
This is a specialised activity and you may find this short guide to finding exuviae and emerging adults helpful. 
Date Details Site Observer
22 April 1 Clubtail exuvia. Remarkably early record! River Thames at Reading (probably Berks, but v close to our area!) per BDS

All pictures copyright Stephen Burch, unless stated otherwise

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