Thursday, November 29, 2012

හාවා[Hawa]/Black-naped Hare/Indian Hare (Lepus nigricollis)

Black-naped Hare is well distributed in scrub and grasslands throughout the island. It is nocturnal in habit in most areas and during day time lies up in a well camouflaged sheltered patch in the undergrowth. But in the protected areas such as in national parks, it is active even during the day time, mostly in the morning hours. Black-naped Hare is an almost entirely herbivorous mammal and feeds on grasses, shoots, young leaves etc. It doesn't have definite breeding season and produces one or two young ‘leverets’ at any time of the year. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

පිඹුරා[Pimbura]/Indian Rock Python (Python molurus molurus)

Indian Rock Python is the largest snake in Sri Lanka (with average length of an adult about 3 meters while 4.6m being the longest record (de Silva Anslem, 2009)) inhabiting varies ecosystems from tropical rain forests to coastal scrub lands throughout the country.  It has been also recorded from an off-shore island near Trincomalee and from the Horton plains (Somaweera R., 2006). It is mostly active during the night though diurnal activities are also recorded especially during rainy season. Even though it is terrestrial snake arboreal and aquatic habits have been also observed. Indian Rock Python feeds on warm-blooded animals from rodents to adult deer and also monitor lizards and even frogs. There are records of Rock Python preying on leopards and occasional human too. The female python deposit 10-50 eggs inside a rock cave or large tree hole and incubates by coiling around them. It is threatened by skin-trade and also consuming of flesh for medicinal purposes. Rock Python is a non-venomous snake though its bite can cause severe wounds. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Lama-Ran Batagoya/Laya-ran Batagoya Orange-breasted Green Pigeon (Treron bicinctus leggei)

Common resident bird in shrubs and wooded patches of dry lowlands. Local and rare in wet lowlands and lower hills. It lives as small flocks and sometime congregates freely in large flocks of same species or with other pigeons (Sri Lanka Green Pigeon, Emerald Dove, GreenImperial Pigeon etc.) in the places where food is plentiful such as when a Banyan tree is fruiting. Although strictly an arboreal bird it descends to the bank of a stream/river or a water-hole for drink water, mostly in the morning and in the afternoon. It breeds from December to May and probably again from August to September. The nest is a platform of small twigs place in a small tree beside the jungle path. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Plains Cupid (Chilades pandava lanka)

Common butterfly of wet zone up to about 1000m a.s.l. Males sometimes settle on damp earth in numbers. Its larva feeds on Ferns (Cycas spp.), Jambu (Xylia spp.) and sometimes Wagatea  spicata and larva are attended by some ant species. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

සැළලිහිණියා[Salalihiniya]/Lesser Hill Myna/Common Grackle/Sourthern Grackle (Gracula indica)

Common breeding resident in forest edges, wooded areas and adjoining home gardens of wet zone lowlands to mid hills and sometime locally in dry zone tall forests. It feeds mainly on fruits as pairs or small flocks, usually high in trees, keep in touch with each others by uttering very loud musical whistling sound. It breeds from May to August laying two eggs in a deep cavity in a tree.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tamil Yeoman/Yeoman (Cirrochroa thais lanka)

An uncommon butterfly found in lowlands to mid hills in all the year round. The male settles on the wet patches to absorb minerals and Ormiston has an interesting observation on this butterfly of thousands of males mud puddling on the first five miles of Wellawaya - Koslanda road in November (Ormistom W. 1924). Larva feeds on Makulu plant of family Flacourtiaceae (Hydnocarpus venenata)

Friday, November 16, 2012

පැණි කුරුල්ලා[Pani kurulla]/Purple-rumped Sunbird(Nectarinia zeylonica zeylonica)

Common breeding resident in home gardens, forests and cultivation from lowlands to mid hills while scarce in higher hills. It lives in pairs and visit flowers all day long to feed on nectar.  Also it eats many small insects. Purple-rumped Sunbird breeds from February to June and probably second brood again in August- September. The nest is a small hanging structure from a twig, composed of soft fibers, scraps of lichens etc. bound with cobweb where hen lays two eggs.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Smallest Swift (Panara bada bada)

An uncommon butterfly found in all climatic zones of the island throughout the year. Its larva feeds on paddy and various other grasses of the family Poeceae.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Intermediate Egret/Sudu Madikoka/Kuda Sudu Koka (Mesophoyx intermedia)

Intermediate Egret is a common breeding resident from lowlands to the hills excluding north. Paddy fields, marshes, lakes, mangroves and rivers are its habitats where it can be found solitary or as flocks of few individuals. Intermediate Egret feeds mainly on fish but frogs, grasshoppers and other insects are also eaten. It breeds from December to May and the nest built in a heronry usually mixed with other herons and egrets on a tree standing in shallow water. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Yamfly (Loxura atymnus arcuata)

Locally common butterfly found mostly in southern part of the island from 800 – 2000 ft a.s.l.  It prefers wet dense jungle areas. Larva feeds on young shoots of Heen Kabarassa (Smilax zeylanica).

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)

Rather common breeding resident in lowland tanks, marshes and such water bodies while much common in the dry zone and less in wet zone. It is also known as rare breeding resident of higher hills (Warakagoda D. et. al. 2012). It lives as small flocks though solitary birds are sometime seen. Little grebe’s diet consists of small fish, various water insects and prawns. It breeds from December to February and probably again in June. The nest is a floating mass of water weeds where it lays three white eggs. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Schneider’s leaf-nosed bat (Hipposideros speoris)

Schneider’s leaf-nosed bat is a common insectivorous bat in lowlands and lower hills of the island. It roosts in large colonies in caves and abandoned buildings during the day time and leaves early in the evening to feed on flying beetles, mosquitoes, flies, termites and such other low flying insects. It flies close to the ground among bushes and trees and human dwellings (sometime entering verandas and even rooms to catch small flying insects).  

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Common Banded Demon (Notocrypta paralysos alysia)

Rather rare butterfly found in wet zone jungles upto about 1500m a.s.l . Its larva feeds on plants of family Zingiberaceae such as Aran-kaha/Wal-inguru (Zingiber zerumbet). It has a rather fast up and down flight with frequently settling on foliages. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Scarlet Minivet/Flame Minivet/Orange Minivet (Pericrocotus flammeus)

 Locally common breeding resident of open forest and other wooded areas throughout the country while much common in hills. It lives in pairs or family parties. Scarlet Minivet feeds on caterpillars, crickets and other insects among foliage and follows one another from one tree to other in 'follow my-leader' fashion. It breeds in February-May and again from August to September. The nest is a small cup in the canopy well camouflaged with lichens, flakes of bark etc and composed with lichens bound together with cobweb and lined with dead-leaf midribs, etc.