Tuesday, August 30, 2011

මහ-හැඩයා[Maha –Hadaya] (Huperzia phlegmaria)

An epiphyte on trees or on rocks in mid and up-country forests up to 1200m a.s.l. It is used in snakebite treatments by traditional medical practitioners.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

Grass orchid (Arundina graminifolia)

Terrestrial orchid species with grass like stem and leaves. An escape of cultivation and now naturalized in open areas and Patana lands of higher elevations. Native plant of Southeast Asia

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Rustic (Cupha erymanthis placida)

An uncommon butterfly found in jungles throughout the island, while becoming rare in the higher hills. Its larva feeds on Flacourtia species of family Flacourtisceae  such as Uguressa [Flacourtia indica]

Monday, August 22, 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011

ගෝනා[Goana]/Sambar (Cervus unicolor)

Sambar is the largest member of the deer family lives in the country. It is distributed throughout the island where sizable forest lands or grasslands still remains. However due to illegal poaching in other areas Sambar is today almost restricted to the protected national parks. Horton plains are the only place where Sambar is seen in herds of considerable size. Except man the main predator of Sambar is the leopard while Crocodiles, Pythons and Jackals sometime take fawns. They are mostly active during night and grazing on grasses and take leaves and shoots of plants. Again exception can be seen in Horton plains where they may feed in the evening and early morning. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Spilanthes iabadicensis

An indigenous herb common in moist grounds like paddy fields, ditches, stream edges, etc.  Yellow flowers blooms from August to March.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Yerbury’s Elf (Tetrathemis yerburyii)

A very rare endemic dragonfly of small size inhabits ponds and stagnant pools along streams of mid-hill rainforests. Museum specimens were so far collected from Hanguranketha, Hatton and Kandy (The dragonflies of Sri Lanka – Terrence the Fonseka). Therefore de Fonseka has noted that it is confined to the submontane areas of the island. However above picture was taken at the Horagolla national park (7° 8'29.44"N,  80° 5'2.83"E) a lowland rain forest patch of about 33acres in Gampaha district 170 ft a.s.l.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Nigger (Orsotriena medus mandata)

Common butterfly flies in southern part of the island from sea level to about 5000ft a.s.l. all the year round. It is scarce in the North. The eggs are laid on the under side of a blade of grass of the family Poaceae and larva feeds on them. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Mexican flame leaf/Poinsettia/Christmas star (Euphorbia pulcherrima)

Native plant of Mexico. Introduced and cultivated in home gardens due to its attractive red bracts around the small yellow and orange flowers. Also escaped and naturalized in hill country, especially along roads.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dark-fronted Babbler (Rhopocichla atriceps)

Dark-fronted Babbler is a bird of forest undergrowth of all zones. Generally found in as small flocks feeding on insects among foliage. The main breeding season is from February to May and perhaps again from October to November.  The nest is a ball of dead leaves with wide opening in one side, placed on a fork of tree.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Rough – horn Lizard (Ceratophora aspera)

Endemic and endangered lizard lives in lowland and submontane Dipterocarp forests of the wet zone. Rough – horn Lizard  is a ground dwelling and slow moving lizard which inhabits leaflitter of the shaded forests, usually as pairs. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Black Flat ( Celaenorrhinus spilothyrus )

Black Flat is a common butterfly usually found in jungles of wet lowlands to mid hills.  Woodhouse remarks that “At Corbet’s gap, near Madugoda, it can be taken all the year round and both sexes are plentiful there in March and April” (Woodhouse L.G.O. The Butterfly fauna of Ceylon 1950).  Male Black Flat of above picture was also taken at same area while on my way to  Dothalugala peak.  It has a habit of settling on the underside of a leaf with its wings spread out flat and  it seldom flies far even disturbed.  Larva feeds n Strobilanthes species .

Thursday, August 4, 2011

සිංහ මුඛ[Sinha-Muka]/Willowleaf angelonia (Angelonia salicariifolia)

Native to Brazil. Introduced to Sri Lanka as an ornamental plant in 1847. Since then it has naturalized along the borders of ditches, ponds and tanks of low country. Flowering throughout the year. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ashy Woodswallow (Artamus fuscus)

Common breeding resident of all zones while getting less common in the hills. Usually found in open country with some trees such as forest edges, paddy fields etc. Often perches on telephone and electricity wires. Generally lives as flocks of  10-15 or more but sometimes occurring in pairs. It prey on insects on the wing and Henry (A guide to the Birds of Sri Lanka - G.M. Henry3rd revised and enlarged edition) described that it as a bird moves about the country a great deal, probably in response to weather conditions or abundances of its insect foods.  The breeding season is from February to June.