Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Torenia travancorica

Common indigenous herb of shaded footpaths usually along forest borders of wet low country and lower hills. This Torenia species can be distinguished from other three species grows in Sri Lanka by orange-yellow color of lower half of corolla tube.  Flowering throughout the year. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pied parasol (Neurothemis tullia tullia)

Probably the most common dragonfly of the country found in rice fields, streams, river banks, marshes, tanks, lagoons etc. from lowlands to mid-hills. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

බිම්පොල්[Bim-Pol] (Trichopus zeylanicus)

An Indigenous herb distributed in wet lowlands and sometimes in intermediate zone. Exception is Ritigala in dry zone where this plant can be found about 600m asl. Found in shady forest floor, usually close to water courses. Flowering and fruiting possibly throughout the year and fruit edible. Varieties with varies leaf shapes and number of primary veins can be occurred.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Gladeye Bushbrown(Nissanga patnia patnia)

Very common butterfly of southern part of the country, being less common in northern areas. Its larva feeds on varies plants of family Poaceae.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

වල්-ඉද්ද/සුදු-ඉද්ද/ඉද්ද/කෙලිද්ද[Wal-idda/Sudu-idda/Idda/Kelidha](Walidda antidysenterica)

An endemic shrub of scrublands and secondary forest lands of the moist low country. Often cultivate in home gardens due to its sweet scented flowers blooming all the year round. In traditional medicine this plant is used to treat tonsillitis and bronchial diseases and flowers are used to cure the Russel’s viper bite.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Yellow-browed Bulbul (Iole indica)

Locally common bird in wooded areas and near by gardens of wet zone and dense forests of dry zone. It ascends about 1500m of hills and absent in extreme North. Yellow-browed Bulbul occurs as two sub species in Sri Lanka and wet zone race (Iole indica guglielmi) is endemic to Sri Lanka. It feeds on insects and fruits. Usually found in as small flocks.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pink rain lily (Zephyranthes grandiflora)

Herb native to Mexico, Cuba and Jamaica. Introduced as an ornamental plant and naturalized mainly in the hill country. 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Blue Mormon (Papilio polymnestor parinda)

Blue mormon is a common butterfly flying throughout the country in all elevations. One of the largest butterflies in the island which second only to the female Bird wing (Troides helena).  Male often settles on damp earth and river beds to absorb minerals. Larva feeds on varies plants of family Rutaceae (Citrus species..etc)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

පඳුරු හාල්දණ්ඩා[Paduru Haaldanda]/Boulenger’s Bronze-back (Dendrelaphis bifrenalis)

Diurnal and non-venomous snake recorded from  wet and intermediate zones of lowlands to mid hills. However there are references of finding it from Mullaitivu, Vavuniya and Trincomalee of northern dry zone*. Arboreal and feeds on frogs, geckos, skinks and agamid lizards. Sometimes descends to the ground and it is said that when moving on the ground it has a habit of keeping its head and part of fore body erect(Snakes of Sri Lanka A coloured atlas – Anslem de silva & jayantha Jinasena - 2009). This picture of Boulenger’s bronze-back devouring probably a Spotted tree frog was taken in a shrub jungle of Ambagaspitiya of Gampaha district.

* Though Anslem de Silva (Snakes of Sri Lanka A coloured atlas – Anslem de silva & jayantha Jinasena - 2009) has given Wall (1921) as the reference for its distribution in Mulativu and Vavuniya there is not such a mentioning in Frank Wall’s Snakes of Ceylon(1921) page 218 where distribution of Dendrelaphis bifrenalis only includes Punagalla, Yatiyantota, Balangoda and Galle

Sunday, May 8, 2011

රත් කොබෝලීල[Rat-koboleela]/Purple orchid tree (Bauhinia purpurea)

Macmillan in 1910 suggested Bauhinia purpurea as a flowering tree suitable for the gardening in low or median elevations due to its “very showy large flowers of a pink shade merging into purple” (Tropical planting and Gardening with special reference to Ceylon - page 80).  It is a native plant of either Southeast Asia (According to the Revised handbook to the Flora of Ceylon Vol 7) or India (According to the Illustrated field guide to the flowers of Sri Lanka J. &J. de Vlas 2008) introduced and widely cultivating in Sri Lankan home gardens. Still it is not naturalized in Sri Lanka.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

කහ මැටිකොකා[Kaha Matikoka]/Yellow bittern ( Ixobrychus sinensis)

Common breeding resident supplemented by winter migrants. Mainly distributed in marshes and  reed-beds bordering canals, tanks and rivers of wet zone. Also found in some areas of the dry zone lowlands and occasionally in hills. It feeds on fishes, frogs, crabs and certain water insects. Usually encountered as solitary birds or as pairs moving very slowly among waterside vegetations. Where It waits motionless and suddenly plunges and catch the prey. Though nocturnal and crepuscular it can be seen active even during the day time.

Monday, May 2, 2011

මදටිය[Madatiya]/Saga seed tree/Red sandalwood/Coral tree (Adenanthera pavonina)

An indigenous tree of low country up to about 1300m a.s.l. It is rare in wild but commonly cultivating in home gardens. Hard red wood of this tree is used to make furnitures and red dye yields from wood is used by Brahmins in India to place marks on their foreheads. Pulp made out of seeds with borax and water has a medicinal value. Seeds also use as weights in jewelry industry.
Flowers – Small white cream flowers in long racemes turn to yellow with age.