Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Gomphus pulchellus is an European endemic species ranging from the whole of Iberia to the western half of Germany, western Austria and Switzerland. Isolated records from Italy refer to vagrants, the records from Croatia and Slovakia might be erroneous or vagrants.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Gomphus pulchellus reproduces in all kinds of slow and moderately flowing and standing waters, avoiding strong currents. It reproduces also in some peat bogs up to 1,500 m above sea level. It is most common in slow lowland rivers and their backwaters and abandoned gravel pits. The larvae occupy sandy patches, which may be covered with coarse detritus. The adults are found sometimes far from their breeding habitats.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2010

Assessor/s
Boudot, J.-P.

Reviewer/s
Conze, K., Dyatlova, E., Ott, J., Sahlen, G. & Bernard, R.

Contributor/s

Justification
European regional assessment: Least Concern (LC)
EU 27 regional assessment: Least Concern (LC)

Gomphus pulchellus is fairly common in France, Belgium, part of The Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland, as well as in the southwestern half of Iberia. It has been expanding during the last half of the century in most of its northern and eastern range. It is not threatened and is assessed as Least Concern in the region.

History
  • 2009
    Least Concern
  • 2007
    Least Concern
    (IUCN 2009.2)
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Population

Population
The species is generally common throughout its range.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
None at present.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
No conservation actions are currently needed.
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Wikipedia

Gomphus flavipes

The River Clubtail or Yellow-legged Dragonfly (Gomphus flavipes) is a species of dragonfly in the family Gomphidae. It is found in Europe. Its natural habitat are rivers and large streams. The dragonfly flies from June to September depending on the location.

Geographical distribution[edit]

G. flavipes is a European species. It has the biggest geographical range among the European Gomphid species, occurring from France to eastern Siberia. The species has a very patchy occurrence in Central Europe and has become rare in Western Europe. The southernmost occurrence is known from Greece. In Southern Europe G. flavipes is replaced by other Gomphid species. However, the exact geographical range of the species is still unclear.

Habitat[edit]

G. flavipes lives along the middle and lower reaches of slow flowing medium sized and big rivers The species prefers riverbed with mud, clay, loam or fine sand as soil, since larvae develop buried in the soil, but avoids areas with decomposition of organic matter and oxygen-poor stagnant water. Reaches with high drift and coarse substrate are also avoided, however, occasionally G. flavipes can be found in bigger lakes with high oxygen content.

Morphology[edit]

As a medium sized dragonfly G. flavipes is 50–55 mm long and with an average wingspan of 70–80 mm. The eyes are widely separated, this is a typical genus-specific feature, males have blue while females have green eyes. Both sexes have predominantly yellow legs and the males has thin angled appendages, while his 10th segment is entirely black dorsally.

Behaviour and life cycle[edit]

G. flavipes, as all dragonflies, are predators; they capture smaller insect in flight. Imagos are rarely seen, the easiest way to observe them is in the mating period or during the emergence of young adults. Mating usually takes place in June or July. During the day adult males search for females, far from the riverbank, in low altitude above the waterfront. If they successfully catch a female copulation takes place in the shelter of water edge willows. After fertilization females fly 20–30 cm above the water and lay eggs (one at a time or in a small packets) into the water.[1]

Larval development[edit]

The larvae develop for three years buried in the fine soil of the riverbed. As imagos, they are predators too, their diet consisting of small invertebrates which they capture with they specialized labium called the mask. The emergence of the larvae starts mostly at end of May or June, but it depends highly on location and other environmental circumstances (e.g. a rainy period could delay the start of emergence). The emergence in G. flavipes is often highly synchronised and it is therefore referred as a ’summer species’, in Odonatology EM50 values are used to describe the emergence pattern (extent of synchronization).[2] Emergence The patterns often have two peaks in G. flavipes due to the phenomenon called ’cohort splitting’. Larvae of G. flavipes, unlike other Anisoptera larvae, often choose riverbank soil as an emergence substrate, however the type of substrate depends on location and characteristics of the riverbank, probably the larvae have no substrate specific attachment.

Threat factors[edit]

G. flavipes has become an endangered species in most Western European countries due to water pollution and river regulation. The species is listed in the Annex IV of Habitats Directive.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Raab,R., Chovanec,A., Pennerstorfer,J., (2007). Libellen Österreichs. Umweltbundesamt&Springer-Verlag, Wien&Wien - New York. p. 345 pp. ISBN 978-3-211-33856-8. 
  2. ^ Horváth, Gergely (2012). "Assessment of riverine dragonflies (Odonata: Gomphidae) and the emergence behaviour of their larvae based on exuviae data on the reach of the river Tisza in Szeged". Tiscia 39: 9–15. 
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Gomphus pulchellus

Gomphus puchellus, female, South of France
Gomphus-pulchellus, in wheel, south of France
Gomphus pulchellus, close-up on female, South of France

The Western Clubtail (Gomphus pulchellus) is a species of dragonfly in the family Gomphidae. It is found in Western Europe, although absent in the British isles. Its natural habitat are clean ponds and canals, clay and mud holes.

The species is 47–50 mm long. It is the only Gomphidae that lacks the "club-shaped" abdomen, in spite of its name. As an adult, it is mainly pale olive-green with blue eyes.

It emerges early in spring, and can be seen as soon as the end of March in the South of France and flies until August depending on the location.

References[edit]

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