Saturday, October 30, 2010

වරා[Wara] (Calotropis gigantea)

Wara is a common tree/shrub of disturbed vegetations (Common around paddy fields and tanks) in dry and arid zones of low country.  Flowering all the year round. It is an indigenous plant of Sri Lanka and found also in several other south Asian countries like India, Pakistan and Maldives. Also in Malaysia and China. Milky juice extracted from this tree is used as a remedy for Leprosy.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)

Common Sandpiper is a common winter visitor to Sri Lanka from Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia, arrives in August to September in large numbers and departs in April and May.  During that season it can be found almost everywhere of country where rock and water exist together.  It is usually encountered as a solitary bird or a flock of scattered few feeding on tiny mollusks, insects and crustaceans while bobbing is tail up and down continually.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Angled Castor (Ariadne ariadne minorata)

Angled Castor is a common butterfly found all over the island in all the year round, though becoming scarce above 1200m. It is abundant in degraded vegetations. Its larval host plant is Thel Edaru (Ricinus communis), a plant which is widely cultivated to extract Castor oil. Hence the vernacular English name for this butterfly. Larva also feed on Kahabiliya species (Tragia plukenetii and Tragia involucrate

Friday, October 22, 2010

අසෝක/දියරතඹල[Ashoka/Diyarathabala](Saraca Asoca)

An indigenous tree of about 9m tall found in low country forests, basically in dry zone and also cultivated in home gardens as an ornamental plant. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybrida)

Very common migrant and summer loiter to low country coastal areas. But sometimes ascend up to lower hills. During migrate season most low country tanks, paddy fields and such marshy areas abound with this tern. It flies low over water bodies, bill pointed downward in search of its food which consist mainly of aquatic insects, small fish and tadpoles and when tired rest on near by paddy field bund, fence posts or like places. 

Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus)

Whimbrel is an uncommon migrant bird to low country, especially to dry zone coastal areas. It arrives in Sri Lanka in September - October and return back in April to North Europe and western Asia for breeding. Marshes, mudflats and lagoons are its favorite habitats in its stay in Sri Lanka during winter months of Northern hemisphere. In such places it feed mainly on crabs, mollusks and worms, usually singly or sometimes as small parties of 4 -5 birds. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Leaf-nosed Lizard/Dumbara Ankatussa(Ceratophora tennentii)

An endemic lizard of Sri Lanka confines to the knuckles range.  It is a diurnal and slow moving lizard of natural forests, cardamom plantations and also adjoining home gardens at elevations of 760 – 1220m in knuckles range.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pied Kingfisher/ගෝමර පිළිහුඩුවා[Gomara pilihuduwa] (Ceryle rudis)

Pied kingfisher is a resident bird usually found in marshes, lagoons, mangroves, slow flowing rivers and tanks of low country. It is common in coastal areas.  It feeds mainly on fish and other aquatic animals catch by hovering over the water surface and suddenly plunging into prey and emerge with it a moment later. It lives in pairs and breeds during March – May in a burrow dig into the bank of a river. 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Erigeron karvinskianus(Mexican daisy)

Native herb of Mexico and introduced to Sri Lanka and several other countries of Southeast Asia, Southern Europe and also India. Common weed of roadsides and tea plantations of hill country. Flowering throughout the year. White flowers change to purplish when fading. Earliest record of introducing this herb comes from Peradeniya botanical garden in 1926 and it is said that wide spread was due to deliberate introduction of it as a mat forming herb on soil of drain sides and step banks of tea estates as a prevention measure of soil erosion. .

Thursday, October 7, 2010

මයිනා [Myna]/Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis)

Very common breeding resident of all zones up to 1700m. It lives in gardens, cultivations, and grass lands but not in dense forests, usually associated with cattle and buffalos and feed on ticks which infest on them and insects mainly grasshoppers which are disturbed by their feet while they graze. Hence the name Gon Kawadiya use by Sinhalese people for this bird. It appears to pair for life. But sometime flocks with considerable numbers are formed in out of breeding season. Also roost in night in thousands at a selected place usually few trees sometime in city centers or patches of shrub in marsh land. Breeding season start in March and last till August or September. A nest is a hole in a tree with mass of sticks, straws and feathers.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Red-striped Threadtail (Elattoneura tenax)

An endemic damselfly of submontane primary rainforests and near by less disturbed areas. It is usually encountered close to fast running streams. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

පින්න මල්[Pinna Mal]/Chinese glory-bower (Clerodendrum chinense/phillippinum)

Origin of this plant believes to be occurred in China though now wide spread in tropical Asia, Africa and tropical America. It is widely cultivated as an ornamental plant and escapees are become weeds in shrub jungles and such habitats. It is a small shrub and flowers blooms during April to May and again in August to September.