Saturday, February 28, 2015

Moonia heterophylla

An indigenous herb occurs along forest margins, usually in shady situations from 1800 to 2400m elevations. Flowering from October to June and probably throughout the year.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Alternanthera paronychoides

Creeping herb native to tropical America. Introduced and naturalized in dry sandy places with sparse grass cover, Often in the places where periodical inundation occurs. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Indian Skipper (Spialia galba)

Common butterfly found in all climatic zones of the country throughout the year while becoming rarer in higher elevations. It is very fond of the sun and can be found on hottest places such as pathways during the hottest times of the day. Larva feeds on කොටි-කන් බැවිල[Kotikan-bevila] (Sida rhombifolia) (Woodhouse L.G.O.,1950)  and ගස් බැවිල/Gas-bevila (Sida acuta) (Jayasinghe H.D. et. al. 2014 

References:

Jayasinghe H.D., Rajapaksha S.S. & de Alwis C. 2014 A Compilation and Analysis of food plants utilization of Sri Lankan butterfly larva (Papilionoidea) TaprobanicaVol 6(2) 110-131pp.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

එළ-නිතුල්[Ela-nitul]/Ceylon leadwort/White plumbago (Plumbago zeylanica)

Common indigenous straggling shrub occurs in lowlands, especially in the dry areas. Also cultivated as an ornamental plant in wet zone home gardens. Flowering throughout the year with a peak from December to March. Roots use in medicine. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Great Eared-nightjar (Vagrant Nightjars (Family: Caprimulgidae) recorded in Sri Lanka)

      Birds that appear outside their normal range are known as vagrants. This post summarizes up to date published sight records of vagrants of the family Caprimulgidae (Nightjars) in Sri Lanka.

      Great Eared-nightjar (Eurostopodus macrotis)
First and only record of the occurrence of Great eared-nightjar in Sri Lanka is based on an exhausted and injured bird captured in a house near the coast at Kaluthara on 12th March 2006 by W.C. Chamila soysa (Soysa W.C.C. et. al., 2007).  Identification was confirmed by Deepal Warakagoda and Uditha Hettige (Siriwardana, U., 2007). Bird subsequently died and specimen was deposited at the national museum.

References:
Siriwardana, U., 2007. Report of the Ceylon Bird Club 2006 Loris, 24(5 & 6), 50-56
Soysa W.C.C.,  Amarasinghe A.A.T and Karunarathna D.M.S.S. 2007.  A record of the Great Eared Nightjar Eurostopodus macrotis Vigors, 1831 (Aves: Caprimulgidae) from Sri Lanka Siyoth 2(1) 40-42

Sunday, February 22, 2015

සෙම්බු-නෙරෙන්චි/ගොකටු[Sembu-Nerinchi/Gokatu](Tribulus terrestris)

A common herb with prostrate branches occurs in sandy places in the dry lowlands. Flowering all the year round. fruits, roots and seed used in medicine. Native to the Mediterranean region. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Common Red Eye (Matapa aria)

An uncommon butterfly confine to the wet zone of the country up to mid-hills. It is more frequently seen from August to October (Woodhouse L.G.O. , 1950). Common Red-eye is active mostly at dusk and dawn except on a dull day. Its larval host plants are Bambusa vulgaris (උණ), Dendrocalamus giganteus and Ochlandra stridula (බට) (Jayasinghe H.D. et. al. 2014)

References:

Jayasinghe H.D., Rajapaksha S.S. & de Alwis C. 2014 A Compilation and Analysis of food plants utilization of Sri Lankan butterfly larva (Papilionoidea) TaprobanicaVol 6(2) 110-131pp.
Woodhouse L.G.O. (1950) The Butterfly Fauna of CeylonCeylon Government Press, Colombo, 2nd (Abridged) Edition.  1950.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

හකරිල්ලා[Hakarilla] (Solanum mauritianum)

A native plant of Argentina. Introduced and naturalized along roadsides and streams in the montane zone. Flowering throughout the year. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

අලු හැලපෙන්දා/Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerera)

Common migrant bird found mainly in the hill country though not uncommon in all other zones. It can be seen feeding along streams and rivers as well as paddy fields, tea estates, open country and forest glades as solitary birds or as scattered small flocks. In the evening large flocks assemble for roosting in a usual place, often a large tree overhanging water or a thicket in a marshy area. Each bird occupy its chosen territory on the roosting tree. Grey Wagtail feeds on small insects and often seen searching insects in damp areas especially fast flowing rocky streams. It breeds in Central Asia. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Lindernia crustacea

An indigenous prostrate herb in wet grassy places, paddy fields after harvest and along tanks in wet and dry lowlands. Very common and flowering throughout the year. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Common Rose (Pachliopta aristolochiae ceylonica)

Common butterfly occurs most parts of the island, throughout the year. It takes part in migrations and males sometimes seen mud-puddling. Its larval host plants are Aristolochia indica[සප්සඳ], A.bracteolata, Thottea siliquosa [තපසර බුලත්] (van der Poorten, G. & van der Poorten N., 2011) and Aristolochia ringens (Jayasinghe H.D. et. al. 2014)

References:
Jayasinghe H.D., Rajapaksha S.S. & de Alwis C. 2014 A Compilation and Analysis of food plants utilization of Sri Lankan butterfly larva (Papilionoidea) Taprobanica Vol 6(2) 110-131pp.
van der Poorten, G. and van der Poorten N., 2011. New and revised descriptions of the immature stages of some butterflies in Sri Lanka and their larval food plants (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae). The Journal of Research on the Lepidoptera, 44: 111–127.




Friday, February 13, 2015

Slipperwort (Calceolaria chelidonioides)

Native plant of Ecuador. Naturalized in the hill country above 1650m in roadsides, damp grounds, grassy embankments, close to watercourse and ditches. Flowering from December to August. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Asian Fairy Bluebird (Vagrants of the family Irenidae (Fairy Blubirds))

     Birds that appear outside their normal range are known as vagrants. This post summarizes up to date published sight records of vagrants of the family Irenidae (Fairy Blubirds) in Sri Lanka.

Asian fairy bluebird
Layard obtained a specimen near Kandy and Kelaart procured the second specimen also from Kandy during 18th century. Taxidermist of Colombo museum Hart reported a small flock in Rakvana in 1868 and again 3-4 birds in November 1877 at the same location and procured single specimen (Legge 1880:603). As per Phillips it has not been recorded since 1877 (Phillips 1978:70). In 1977 there is a sight record of a flock of 6 birds, drinking at a waterhole north of Trincomalee (Anon. 1977) and another rather doubtful sighting in February 1987 from Gilimale (Hoffmann, T. W., 1988)

References:
Anon. 1977. Fairy Blue Birds. Loris. 14(4):243
Hoffmann, T. W., 1988. Notes from the Ceylon Bird Club 1987, A brief avifaunal survey. Loris, 18(1), 23-25
Legge V., 1880. A History of the birds of Ceylon  1983 second edition.
Phillips W.W.A., 1978. Annotated checklist of the Birds of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) 1978 revised edition.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

අඩහඳ-ඇස්ස[Ada-handa-essa]/Shield-leaved sundew (Drosera peltata)

An indigenous herb found in wet grassy patches on hill slopes and banks of bordering waterways in the upper montane zone. This plant get additional nutrition by digesting small insects trapped by bending sticky tentacles.  

Saturday, February 7, 2015

එළ මිදෙල්ල [Ela Midella] (Barringtonia acutangula)

An indigenous tree occurs mainly near tanks, irrigation channels and flood plains of the dry lowlands. Occasionally found also near paddy fields and streams of the wet lowlands.  

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola)

An uncommon winter migrant to lagoons, mud-flats, shores, creeks and estuaries in dry zone coastal areas. Rare in wet zone coastal areas. It occurs as solitary birds or as scattered small groups usually with other waders. Grey Plover feeds mainly on small marine animals such as worms, molluscs and crustaceans. It breeds in Tundras within the Arctic circle. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

කැකිරි-වරා [Kekiri-Wara] (Schumacheria castaneifolia)

An endemic small tree occurs in primary and secondary rain forests in the wet lowlands from 100m to 760m a.s.l. Flowering throughout the year.