Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Indigo Dropwing (Trithemis festiva)

Common dragonfly of ponds, streams and rivers from lowland plains to montane areas. It is usually found close to the water and can be seen settling on mid-stream rocks or overhanging twigs.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sleeping hibiscus (Malvaviscus penduliflorus)

Native plant of tropical America from Mexico to Venezuela and Ecuador, cultivated in other tropical countries including Sri Lanka as an ornamental plant. Escaped and naturalized plants can be found along roadsides and scrub lands (Above picture was taken at Corbet's gap - Meemure road of the Knuckles range).  Flowering all the year round. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

ලේනා[Lena]/Palm Squirrel (Funambulus palmarum)

Most common squirrel of the country distributed throughout the island as four sub species. It is found in almost everywhere except in heavy jungles. Palm squirrel feeds on nuts, seeds, fruits, flowers, barks of the trees and when lives around houses rice, bread and such other scraps of humans. Usually it can be seen associated with yellow billed babblers.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Red ginger (Alpinia purpurata)

Large herb with flowering in most of the year. Introduced from its native countries probably of Malaysia or Pacific islands and widely cultivated in Sri Lanka as an ornamental plant with possible escaping to natural habitats.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus)

Mainly a winter visitor to the Sri Lanka, arriving in August and spread throughout the island avoiding deep forests, till May of next year though scarce breeding populations reported from South-Eastern coast. It preys on flying insects such as bees, wasps dragonflies and butterflies sallying out from top of trees where it perch often as flocks of few birds usually less than ten. It frequently bath in rivers and tanks plunging into the water while on the wings.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Common Hedge Blue (Acytolepis puspa felderi)

Locally common butterfly found in forested areas of the island.  Its larva feeds on Puwak-gediya-wel(Hiptage benghalensis). It takes part in migrations.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

කුඩා-හැඩයා[Kuda-Hadaya](Huperzia pulcherrima)

An epiphyte on mossy tree trunks or on rocks in mid and up country secondary forests up to about 2400m a.s.l. Use for the preparation of medicinal oil to treat snake-bite as it is with Maha –Hadaya (Huperzia phlegmaria) 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sri Lanka dull-blue Flycatcher (Eumyias sordidus)

An endemic bird confined to the forests, home gardens and cultivations of hill country and humid locations in low country wet zone. It is locally common in such areas. It feeds on flying insects usually perching on a branch of a shady tree. It also eats berries. Dull blue flycatcher breeds from March to September in a nest made of moss, fern roots etc and place in a hole in a tree or road bank. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

ඉරුරාජ[Iru-Raja] (Zeuxine regia)

An endemic orchid species grows among leaf litter of forest floor under the shade of trees in sub-montane and mid country forests. Iru-raja is used for treating snake-bite poisoning in traditional medicine. Flowers during December and January.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Chocolate Albatross (Appias lyncida taprobana)

Rare butterfly of southern low country of the island.  Flight fast and strong. Male often settle on damp earth. Its larva feeds on varies plants of family Capparaceae such as Lunu warana ( Crateva adansonii). Chocolate albatross is a butterfly which appears irregularly, being almost entirely absent in certain years.  According to the Woodhouse (Woodhouse L.G.O. The Butterfly fauna of Ceylon 1950) it can usually be ‘taken’ from May to October. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Cat’s-ear (Hypochaeris radicata)

Native plant of Europe. Introduced as an ornamental plant and now naturalized in moist grasslands of montane areas above 5000ft. Flowering from December to July

Euphorbia rothiana(Common hill spurge)

Common indigenous erect herb distributed in shady places of montane grasslands and secondary forests. Flowering occurs from September to December with characteristic white flowers with two green bracts, on top of the plant.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

ගල් ඉබ්බා[Gal ibba]/Black Turtle (Melanochelys trijuga)

Two subspecies occurs in the island
1)        Melanochelys trijuga parkeri (Parker’s Black Turtle) – Larger than Spotted Black turtle with more dark shell and uniform olive brown head (or sometime spotted with orange).  It is restricted to Northern areas of the country.

2)        Melanochelys trijuga thermalis (Spotted Black Turtle) – Head spotted with red orange or pink. Widespread in lowland wet and dry zones up to elevation of about 4200ft a.s.l.

Both subspecies are omnivorous and act as a scavenger.  It inhabits still water bodies with aquatic vegetations and spend many hours basking during the day time and forages at night.