Wednesday, November 30, 2011

ජපන් ජබර [Japan Jabara]/Water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes)

A floating herb native to Brasil and other South American countries, which introduced and naturalized in tropical African and Asian countries including Sri Lanka. It was introduced to Sri Lanka in 1905 as an ornamental plant and now a common invasive plant in most water bodies such as tanks, canals, ponds etc of lowland dry and intermediate parts of the island . Propagated mainly by runners (stolons) which produced new plants.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tropic Dart (Potanthus Confucius satra)

Common butterfly of all elevations of the island. Larva feeds on varies plants of family Poaceae.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Orange cosmos (Cosmos sulphureus)

Very common herb which was originally cultivated in gardens and now escaped and naturalized in waste lands, roadsides etc. A native of tropical America

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Kirala/Red-wattled Lapwing/Did-he-do-it (Vanellus indicus)

Common resident of tank edges, paddy fields and open areas, usually not far from the water in the low country and lower hills while much common in dry zone. Usually it is encountered as pairs or small groups feeding on ground-dwelling insects such as grasshoppers, beetles, ants, termites, etc. walking hither and thither in typical plover fashion.  Breeding season is from April to September and lays four eggs in a shallow scrape on the ground among stones or debris. If an intruder approaches the nest it takes to wing and circles around the disturber screaming with its loud call did-he-do-it until the enemy has withdrawn.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Red star cluster/Star flower (Pentas lanceolata)

Native to Eastern Africa and Southern Arabia. Widely cultivated in wet zone and intermediate zone home gardens while escaped and naturalized plants can be found in the vicinity of those home gardens. White and pink color varieties are also occurred.   

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thamba Seruwa/Lesser whistling Teal ( Dendrocygna javanica)

Common resident bird found in tanks, paddy fields and marshes of low country of the island. It lives as flocks of a dozen or so birds and feeds on paddy, insects and other small animals.  It is partially nocturnal and uttered its whistling call frequently in flight when heading to its feeding grounds during dusk from the day retreat which is usually a small islet in a tank or boughs of a dead tree standing in water. Breeding season is from December to January and again from July to August. Nest often place in a water side vegetation or holes in trees usually standing in water.

Monday, November 14, 2011

පුවක්[Puwak]/Betel-nut palm (Areca catechu)

Common palm of home gardens in wet and intermediate zones of the island up to about 900m a.s.l. Also cultivated close to paddy fields and canals in dry lowlands. Seed betel-nut mastication with betel leaves, flowers use as temple offering and also use in traditional rituals, Leaf sheath as trays, bags and plates. Trunk – as timber in construction works.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Common Palmfly (Elymnias hypermnestra fraternal)

A common butterfly of low country up to about elevation of 1500ft. Much common in areas where coconut cultivations are abundant since its larva feeds on varies plants of family Arecaceae (Palmae) including coconut. Female common palmfly (shown in above picture) is very different from males and it mimic Plain tiger

Thursday, November 10, 2011

කෝමාරිකා[Komarika] (Aloe vera)

perennial herb which is believed to be a native plant of North Africa and desert regions of Arabia. Naturalized in North and North –West seashore and cultivate in home gardens in other areas of the Sri Lanka. Juice of the leaves is used to treat varies types of diseases in traditional Ayurvedic medicine including coughs, asthma, eye diseases, etc. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Painted waxtail (Ceriagrion cerinorubellum)

Locally common damselfly of the low country wet zone. Found in weedy areas around paddy fields, streams and ponds.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

හීන්තලා[Heen-tala]/American basil/Hoary basil ( Ocimum americanum)

An indigenous annual herb of waste grounds, road sides and such other places in low country dry zone. The leaves have pleasant camphor like scent.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Little ringed plover ( Charadrius dubius jerdoni)

Little ringed plover is a resident bird of marshes, mud-flats, drying tanks and paddy fields, sand banks etc. of the dry zone coastal areas supplemented by race curonicus during winter migrations. Occasionally it is recorded from Colombo and near by marshy areas like Kotte and Bellanwila-Attidiya, probably of migrant race. It feeds on varies small animals taken from dry ground or shallow water. Often feed as scattered flocks and when alarmed mass together and fly in a dashing manner. It breeds from May to July on gravely shores, sand dunes or islets of large tanks. Usually three stone colored eggs are laid in a small hollow scraped in a gravel bank.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

කැකිල්ල[Kekilla]/Wire fern (Dicranopteris linearis)

Kekilla is one of the commonest fern of the country, found in degraded open areas of rain forests, along paths in secondary forests, waste lands, vicinity of streams etc. from sea level to about 1850m a.s.l. in the wet zone.