Wednesday, June 29, 2011

කොරවක්කා[Korawakka]/White-breasted Waterhen(Amaurornis phoenicurus)

Common breeding resident of low country up to about 1800 m a.s.l. It inhabits wet lands with dense vegetation like paddy fields, marshes, tank and mangroves. Usually lives as pairs and active mostly during the morning and again in evening. It is omnivorous and feeds on worms, insects like grasshoppers and also shoots of paddy and other marsh plants. Breeding season is from March to October and nest is a mass of weeds often place on a low bush few feet above of ground or water. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Disporum cantoniense

Indigenous herb of forest edges and open places in forests of montane region.  Flowering April to October.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Variegated Flutterer (Rhyothemis variegata variegata)

Very common dragonfly found throughout the year usually as large groups near weedy tanks, streams, paddy fields and marsh areas of  low country. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Kosters curse/Soap bush (Clidemia hirta)

An invasive shrub native to the South America. Introduced probably as an ornamental plant and naturalized in several tropical countries including Sri Lanka. It is widely distributed along rain forest pathways and streams of wet and montane zones. Also in roadsides and disturbed grounds of lowland wet zone to tea estates in up country. Propagation is mainly due to the seeds spread by birds. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Common Pierrot (Castalius rosimon)

Common butterfly from lowlands to foot hills. It prefers open areas and usually found in roadsides. Like several other butterflies, males of this species too are fond of settling on damp earth to absorb minerals. According to Ormiston amount of black on upper wings of this butterfly vary with location and wet zone (Galle) specimens have light marks while darkest are from dry zone (Jaffna) and hills (Haldummulla) (Ormiston W. The Butterflies of Ceylon 1924). Larva feeds on varies Ziziphus species such as Ziziphus  mauritiana (Maha debara, Masan) and Ziziphus rugosa(Maha-eraminiya) of the family Rhamnaceae.

Friday, June 17, 2011

රතු පින්න[Rathu-pinna]/Pagoda flower/Red glorybower (Clerodendrum paniculatum)

Native plant of Southeast Asia. Introduced to Sri Lanka and naturalized in disturbed areas. Often along roads. It is believed that when fed this plant to the elephants they become more confident and brave.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Eurasian Black bird (Turdus merula kinnisii)

A breeding resident restricted to higher hills above 1000m a.s.l. Eurasian Black bird is an essentially ground bird common in forest undergrowth, well wooded gardens and tea plantations. It feeds on insects among the leaf litter on the ground and also takes berries. Active mostly during the early morning and again in the dusk. Main breeding season is March to April and probably again from August to September. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

දියපර/ගොඩපර[Diyapara/Godapara](Dillenia suffruticosa)

Native plant of Sumatra, Malaysia and Borneo. Introduced to Peradeniya botanical garden as an ornamental tree in late nineteenth century. It becomes an invasive plant in stream banks, forest edges, wastelands, roadsides and neglected plantations of wet lowlands. A bright yellow flower of this species is the key to distinguish it from other three indigenous varieties of Dillenia (with white flowers) grows in Sri Lanka. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mysore clock vine (Thunbergia mysorensis)

Native climber of Mysore region of southern India. It is cultivated in Sri Lankan home gardens usually as a shade to verandahs of houses. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

මුස්සැන්ද/වෙල්-බුත්සරණ[Mussenda, Wel-but-sarana] (Mussaenda frondosa)

Mussenda is a common indigenous shrub of about 2m tall, grows in secondary forests, roadsides and forests edges in both dry and wet zone from sea level to about 4000ft altitude. White leaves of this plant are edible and fried and eaten like ‘papadam’. All most all parts of this plant have medicinal values. Congee made from all the parts of the plant are used to treat hepatitis while roots used for white leprosy and flowers for asthma, fever and dropsy. Leaves and flowers are also used to remove inflammations and as a detergent for ulcers (Medicinal plants used in Ceylon Part 4 – Jayaweera).

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Peacock Pansy (Jumonia almana almana)

Common butterfly of low country paddy fields, chena cultivations and edges of tanks, becoming uncommon above the mid-hills. According to the D’abrera it is very hardy butterfly surviving even after the natural vegetation has been ruined by mankind. He elaborates that It is almost always the only butterflies found in vacant lots, deserted gardens, overgrown estates and the like (The Butterflies of Ceylon - D'abrera 1998). Larva of peacock pansy feeds on Heen Bovitiya (Osbeckia octandra), Lindernia rotundifolia and various other plants of family Acanthaceae (An Illustrated guide to Butterflies of Ceylon – Rajika Gamage – 2007). It takes part in migrations.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

කෑරලා [Kerala]/Black-rumped Flameback(Dinopium benghalense)

Very common breeding resident of all climatic zones, occurs as two races in the island. Red backed woodpecker (D.b.psarodes) is the southern form distributed in forests, cultivations and home gardens of lowlands and hills while Golden-backed woodpecker (d.b.jaffnense) is mainly found in Northern coastal areas from Chilaw to Trincomalee. Two sub-species freely interbreed and intermediate forms occur in fringe areas. It lives as pairs and feeds on ants and such insects found inside tree barks and occasionally on ground.