The common club-tail is a species of dragonfly with a wingspan of 6 to 7 centimetres and a body length of 33 to 37 millimetres. It is mainly black with extensive yellow markings on the thorax and abdomen. It has a distinctively club-shaped abdomen and, unlike most dragonflies, widely separated eyes.
The common club-tail is commonly found in woodland and forest clearings near water. It flies between May and July.
The adult dragonfly feeds on flying insects. The larvae take two to three years to develop and live in still waters among aquatic vegetation or the silt of the river bed.