Thursday, August 30, 2012

කටු අන්නාසි/වැට අන්නාසි[Katu Annasi/Weta Annasi] (Bromelia penguin)

Native plant of West Indies and South America, introduced to Sri Lanka probably before 1864 (Flora of Ceylon Vol 14). Katu Annasi is grown in coconut estates and home gardens as a fence plant since its spiny margin leaves stop intrusion of cattle and human. Fruit edible and flowering occurs mainly during March to June.  It is common in Gampaha and Nittabuwa areas where above pictures were also taken. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Dark Cerulean (Jamides bochus bochus)

Common butterfly of all the year round in all over the island, especially in South. It is a migratory butterfly and Ormiston has recorded that “It often flights in great numbers and these flights are usually composed of dwarf specimens” (Ormiston W. 1924). Males sometimes settle on wet patches on roads to absorb minerals. Its larva feeds on various plants of family Fabaceae such as Li-me(Vigna unguiculata), Boga-medeloa (Tephrosia candida) etc.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

ගොන් කඳුරු[Gon-Kaduru]/Suicide Tree (Cerbera odollam)

An indigenous tree common in coastal areas, along rivers and behind mangrove forests, both in wet and dry zone. Also planted between paddy fields and along roads. Fruit poisonous. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

සර්ප රාජාලියා [Sarpa Rajaliya]/Crested Serpent Eagle (Spilornis cheela spilogaster)

Crested Serpent Eagle is a common breeding resident of forests and wooded areas throughout the island. It is a common sight in such areas of soaring and circling up birds usually in pairs to great heights on sunny days, frequently uttering its loud ringing call. As its name implies, Crested serpent eagle feeds mainly on snakes. But frogs, lizards, rodents and probably injured or sick bird are also included in its prey. The breeding seasons is from February to May and nest a mass of sticks and twigs place on a tree in jungle where it lays single egg or occasionally two.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

දිවි කඳුරු[Divi-Kaduru]/Eve’s apple, forbidden fruit (Pagiantha dichotoma)

A common indigenous tree of the secondary forests of the moist areas in lowlands to hills about 1200m a.s.l. The wood is used to carve traditional dancing masks. The white latex of the plant poisonous and can cause inflammation of the eye.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Dark-brand Bushbrown (Mycalesis mineus)

The butterfly flies over the entire island up to about 2500ft elevations. But it is much common in the low country grasslands. Larva feeds on varies plants of family Poaceae. This can be easily distinguished from the similar Common Bushbrown by four lower ocelli of hind wing. They lie in straight line of this species.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

නිල් පුරුක්[Nil Puruk]/Wayside tuberose/Minnieroot (Ruellia tuberosa)

A native of tropical America, introduced and grows among grasses on roadside drains, grasslands etc. in coastal areas and dry lowlands up to mid hills. Flowering throughout the year. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

නයා/නාගයා[Naya/Nagaya]/Spectacled Cobra/Indian Cobra(Naja naja)

Cobra is a highly venomous snake that is accountable for large number of human mortalities annually. It is diurnal and terrestrial in habits though some nocturnal activities are also known. However it may climb trees in search of prey and also can swim well.  It inhabits forests, plantations, paddy fields etc. most of the time close to human habitations. It feeds basically on rodents and varies other small animals (Rats, lizards, other snakes, frogs, birds and their eggs, etc). It is also cannibalistic. In Sri Lanka Cobra is common in all over the island except in higher hills. It has neurotoxic venom.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Goat-scented passion-flower/Common passion flower (Passiflora foetida)

Common climbing herb native to the tropical America. Introduced and naturalized in waste places, forest edges etc. of the island. This plant has a very unpleasant smell. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Eurasian Collared Dove/Indian Ring Dove (Streptopelia decaocto)

 Eurasian Collared Dove  is a breeding resident with limited distribution in coastal areas of north-west to north and north-east of the island.  It feeds on grains, grass seeds, etc on ground of open areas and scrublands, as pairs or sometime as scattered flocks. The breeding season is from April to May and it builds typical dove type nest with small sticks and grass-stalks on a thorny tree or among dense mangrove bushes.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Vietnamese Pepper/wild Betel (Piper Sarmentosum)

An introduced prostrate herb native to Northeastern India, South China and Malaysia. Cultivated in home gardens. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Red Pierrot (Talicada nyseus nyseus)

Common insect found in lowlands up to mid hills, throughout the year.  It roosts on flower heads or flower stalks during the evening hours in groups of several, sometime up to a dozen. The larva feeds inside the thick leaves of Akkapana(Bryophyllum calycinum) and coming out only to pupate. Sometime yellow aberrations occurs where orange patch of upper wings replaced by yellow. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Tropical girdlepod (Mitracarpus hirtus)

Native plant of tropical America. Introduced and now common weed along roadsides, cultivation and waste lands of the island.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Brown-capped Babbler (Pellorneum fuscocapillus)

An uncommon and endemic bird distributed locally from lowlands to mid hill forests. It is a bird of undergrowth and spends its time mostly on seeking insects among leaf litter usually as pairs or as small flocks.  Brown-capped Babbler breeds during November to March and again in September. The nest is an untidy dome of dead leaves, set at base of a tree or shrub in deep forest.  Three races can be identified in Sri Lanka in three climatic zones wet, dry and hills. Wet zone specimes are much darker than paler dry zone birds. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Banded Redeye (Gangara lebadea subfasciata)

Very rare skipper found in lowlands of the island while females are much rarer than males. It is the second largest Hesperiidae of Sri Lanka. It flies dawn of the day and again late in the evening. W. Ormiston noted that “I have never seen a specimen alive….and the Kandy collectors brought me plenty in August, 1918 and 1919” (Ormiston W. 1924). Larva feeds on varies plants of family Arecaceae (Gamage R. 2007).