the gurus

offering tours aimed specifically at finding and photographing dragonflies and damselflies around the world

the identification gurus

 

Odonatours aims to put you in the field with the best possible identification consultants to ensure that we maximise your experience. Anyone who has dabbled with Odonata in the tropics will know that getting identifications at the time or even afterwards can be very challenging. Taking along a man or woman 'who knows' is essential and will allow on-the-spot or at least 'in tour' identification of most of the species that we record. Remember though that not everything will be identifiable as many species still remain to be described, part of the excitement of working with this order of invertebrates.

 

Whilst Phil will concentrate on the day-to-day running of your holiday the following gurus will take the lead on the Odonata front on tours in their respective geographical regions:

Klaas-Douwe 'KD' Dijkstra

No-one has done more than KD to foster the modern-day appreciation of Odonata. He is the author of the most successful book on the order to date, a European field guide which has sold 35 000 copies in 5 languages. His huge professional contribution to odonatology includes the first consensus family-level classification of the order as well as the first genus-level molecular phylogeny of the suborder Zygoptera. Africa is KD's stamping ground and his recent co-authored 'East Africa' publication has set another milestone. KD will no doubt be involved in many of our Africa tours, starting in 2016 with the incomparable Madagascar.

Rory Dow

Rory is a British mathematician who has retrained as an entomologist specializing in the dragonflies and damselflies of south-east Asia. He has now amassed eleven years of experience in fieldwork in the region, including over two years spent in Borneo, a number of visits to Peninsular Malaysia and Thailand, and trips to the Philippines (Mindanao), Java, Sumatra and Sulawesi. He is widely recognized as an expert on the Odonata of south-east Asia in general and Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia in particular and the author of a growing body of taxonomic and faunistic publications and several hundred assessments for the IUCN Red List. Currently a Research Associate at the Naturalis Biodiversity Center and a member of the IUCN Odonata Specialist Group.

 

© Phil Benstead

© Phil Benstead

© Phil Benstead

© Phil Benstead

© Phil Benstead

© Phil Benstead

Roy Woodward

Roy has always been interested in wildlife and became a keen birder while still in school. Since the late 90's though he has focussed on Odonata. Roy is now the county dragonfly recorder for Hertfordshire and has led identification courses for local wildlife trusts and other organisations. In recent years he has travelled widely in Europe with the intention of seeking out dragonflies, as well as visits to the Asian parts of Turkey and to parts of Africa. Roy is a keen photographer and many of his images have been published. Roy will be helping Phil out on tours within the Western Palearctic.

Magnus Billqvist

Magnus is the author of a critically acclaimed field guide to the odonates of Scandinavia: “Svenska Trollsländeguiden”. He is also the webmaster of the journal Odonatologica, has a dragonfly blog, is currently planning the 4th European Congress on Odonatology (Sweden 2016) and editing the upcoming atlas of Skåne. Magnus likes most of all to spend time on the tundra in the far north of Scandinavia, the habitat for his favourite dragonfly, the treeline emerald Somatochlora sahlbergi. Magnus will be helping out on a tour to see this fantastic creature and on other tours in Sweden.

© Phil Benstead

Keith DP Wilson

Keith was born in Malaysia but spent his formative years in the UK and has spent more than 25 years working in Asia and the Middle East. He is an acknowledged expert on the dragonflies of south and southwest China and has published numerous taxonomic papers on dragonflies from this region. He authored the first modern guide to dragonflies in south-east Asia with the publication of the Hong Kong Dragonflies in 1995 and followed this up with field guide editions in 2003 and 2004. He is familiar with the dragonflies throughout southeast Asia. Keith is also a keen birder and has a growing knowledge of southern Chinese and European orchids.

© Phil Benstead

© Phil Benstead

Tom Kompier

Tom is a Dutch civil servant currently working at the embassy of the Netherlands in Hanoi, but also a passionate naturalist in pursuit of Dragons and Damsels. He just published his field guide on the Dragonflies and Damselflies of the Serra dos Orgaos in Brazil, the first real field guide covering the vast Odonate biodiversity of that part of the Atlantic rain forest, and has an active blog on the Odonata of Vietnam. His main expertise lies thus with the Odonata of Rio de Janeiro state in Brazil and of northern Vietnam.

Odonatours