The authors:
George Michael van der Poorten and
Nancy van der Poorten


Michael was first smitten by butterflies as a child growing up in Sri Lanka. His first copy of Woodhouse’s classic publication, Butterfly Fauna of Ceylon, was, and still is, a cherished book. He grew up in a time when he could freely roam the extensive forests and meadows of the country, which was sparsely populated. Completing his M.Sc. and Ph.D. at the University of Guelph in Canada, he met Nancy, who had just finished her degree in Botany. She also grew up with a love of butterflies, but in Toronto Canada. Since then, they have pursued their shared interest in plants, birds and insects in both countries. Michael also took up photography so that he could document their findings.

For the past 15 years, they have intensively studied the butterflies in Sri Lanka. Based on their findings, they have published several papers in international peer-reviewed journals and several general articles.

Michael edited the Butterfly Conservation Action Plan of Sri Lanka (2012) and authored The Taxonomy and Conservation Status of Butterflies in Sri Lanka (National Red List 2012). He has given innumerable lectures to universities, schools, associations and groups, has conducted many field trips for professionals, students, and the general public, and has set up and consulted on several open-air butterfly gardens in Sri Lanka.

Nancy has specialized in the study of the dragonflies of Sri Lanka and has described three species new to science. She is also the author or co-author of several scientific publications on dragonflies, and is co-author of Dragonfly Fauna of Sri Lanka: Distribution and Biology, with Threat Status of its Endemics (2014). She is past president of the Toronto Entomologists’ Association in Canada and president-elect (2015–17) of the Worldwide Dragonfly Association.

The Butterfly Fauna of Sri Lanka

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Great Orange Tip

Dark Wanderer

Tawny Rajah

Scarce Shot Silverline

Orange-tailed Awl