Friday, December 30, 2011

Ceylon spinach, Florida spinach, Philippine spinach [Talinum fruticosum(Synonyms: Talinum triangulare)]

A perennial herb, native to tropical America. Now a pantropical weed which is common along roadsides, waste places and forest edges of the island. Leaves edible.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

White-browed Bulbul (Pycnonotus luteolus insulae)

Common breeding resident of  entire low country and hills up to about 1000m a.s.l. while most common in dry lowlands. It inhabits home gardens, secondary forests, plantations and scrub lands. White-browed Bulbul feeds largely on varies type of berries as well as many insects. The main nesting season is from February to March and the nest, a cup of small twigs, rootlets etc. place on a bush, usually of 2-3 feet above the ground. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

නිදිකුම්ඹා[Nidi-kumba]/Sensitive plant/Touch-me-not (Mimosa pudica)

Nidi-kumba is a native plant of Brazil and now pantropical. It is said to be introduced by Alexander moon then director of Peradeniya Botanical garden to the Sri Lanka. However it may have been introduced much earlier (Flora of Ceylon - Vol 1). It is very common weed of roadsides, waste lands, etc throughout the island being much common in wet and intermediate zones.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Small branded swift (Pelopidas mathias mathias)

A rare butterfly more likely to be found in low country. Similar species Little branded swift replace it from up country while both may be fly in intermediate mid-country.  Small branded swift is much smaller than Little branded and has complete arc of 5 spots in its under-side of the hind wings while it is incomplete of Little branded swift. Its larva feeds on varies plants of family Poaceae( Paddy or grasses)

Friday, December 16, 2011

සූරිය/ගන් සූරිය[Suriya/Gansuriya]/Indian tulip tree/Pacific rosewood (Thespesia populnea)

Indigenous small tree of 4-10m tall, usually found in coastal areas. Often cultivated as a shade tree. The flowers blooms throughout the year. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Spotless grass yellow (Eurema laeta laeta)

Rather uncommon butterfly, found all the year round in patana grasslands of mid hills (500ft to 3000ft).Spotless grass yellow is a migratory species and its larva feeds on Peni thora (Cassia occidentalis) trees.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Shrub vinca (Kopsia fruticosa)

Native plant of India and Malay Peninsula, cultivate as an ornamental plant in home gardens due to attractive white or pink flowers with dark pink eye. Flowering mainly during June to August months of the year.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

පොල්කිච්චා[Polkichcha]/Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis)

Very common breeding resident of gardens, cultivations and scrublands of all zones. It avoids deep forests. Oriental Magpie Robin feeds mainly on insect, hopping on the ground solitary or in pairs. But vegetable foods such as rice, bread and etc thrown out of the houses are also taken. It is active even after dusk and territorial call of the male can be heard again before sunrise often uttered from a top of  tall tree or a lamppost. Fierce combats between males occur occasionally. Main breeding season is from March to September and the nest is a mass of grasses in a tree hole.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Aggressive Riverhawk (Onychothemis tonkinensis ceylanica)

Though the type has come from Sri Lanka, there is no specimen in the Museum collection, nor have any of the usual authors reported on having seen any specimens from here” noted Terrence de Fonseka in 2000 (The Dragonflies of Sri Lanka WHT Publication). However Aggressive Riverhawk is a rare dragonfly of streams and rivers of lowland and mid-hill forest areas.  Above picture  of Aggressive Riverhawk was taken at the Kanneliya forest reserve while it was preying upon a Grey Pansy (Junonia atlites)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

සුදු-පරවිමල්[Sudu-parey-mal]/Pigeon orchid/white dove orchid (Dendrobium crumenatum)

An introduced epiphyte often cultivated in low country wet zone home gardens. Pigeon orchid is believed to be introduced from Malaya since it is native plant of Malaya, South-east Asia and Indonesia. Vernacular names related with white dove since resemblances of it flowers with Pigeons. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

බළල් සේරා(Balal Sera)/Pheasant-tailed Jacana (Hydrophasianus chirurgus)

Common breeding resident bird of weed covered tanks and marshes in the low country. It lives as scattered flocks walking on the floating vegetation using their long toes and claws. It has a cat-like high-pitch mew, mew…. loud call and hence the Sinhala name Balal Sera. It feeds on seeds of varies water plants, grains and some aquatic insects, shrimps etc.. Breeding season is from February to July and nest, usually a water-logged pile of weeds among lotus leaves where it lays 3-4 bronze brown color eggs.