Green Club-tailed Dragonfly, also known as Green Gomphid

Ophiogomphus cecilia

This dragonfly species is highly endangered across Europe and is only a vagrant species in the National Park. Therefore, special programmes to aid this rare species, which prefers environments with slow-moving waters, are being implemented in the Donau-Auen National Park.

Description
Body length of approximately 5.5cm and a wingspan of 6 to 7cm. Both males and females have gleaming green thorax and head colouring and yellow-spotted abdomen.

Distribution
Eastern Europe is the principal range for this species. To the west, the range extends only to Germany. In the National Park, the oxbow lakes with slowly-moving waters should be suitable habitats. Yet they remain but guests in the National Park.

Endangerment and Conservation Status
The Green Club-Tailed Dragonfly is one of the most endangered dragonfly species in Europe and has been included in Annex II and IV of the EU Habitats Directive. The population is also in decline in Austria and endangered in Lower Austria. Moderately occurring in the better-connected former tributaries near Regelsbrunn and Orth in the National Park.

Behaviour
Larvae prefer those areas of the river bottom with coarse sandy foundation and fast-moving currents. They hunt for prey on the surface but also dig below the surface for food. Larvae reach maturity after three to four years, but sometimes after only two.

Special Characteristics
Main source of endangerment comes from loss of natural aquatic habitats and loss of water connectivity in the wetlands.