Monday, August 31, 2015

Euonymus walkeri

An endemic shrub or small tree rather common in south western wet lowland forests. Flowering from August to April. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Lobelia zeylanica

An indigenous annual herb common among grasses in soggy, clayey soil beside water courses and paddy fields from wet lowlands to about 1500 m altitude. Flowering throughout the year.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

ගස් පින්න/පින්න[Gas pinna/Pinna](Clerodendrum infortunatum)

Common indigenous shrub or small tree occurs in forests from wet  lowlands to about 1500 m altitude. Flowering from March to August.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Slaty-legged Crake/Banded Crake (Rallina eurizonoides)

Slaty-legged Crake is rather rare breeding resident of the wet zone and uncommon migrant mainly from wet lowlands up to the higher hills. Also locally occurs in the dry zone. It lives as solitary birds in dense swampy jungles and thickets near streams, rivers and such water bodies. It is mainly a nocturnal bird though activities can be observed even during the dawn and dusk. Slaty-legged Crake feeds on earth worms, grains, seeds, grasshoppers and such other insects.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Ficus diversiformis

An endemic slender creeper or climber creeping over the ground, rocks and trunks. It occurs chiefly in the hills but also not uncommon in the lowland rain forests (From 50- 1600 m a.s.l.)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Bush morning glory/Hedge glory/Shrub ipomoea (Ipomoea carnea)

Native shrub of tropical America.  Introduced as an ornamental and have been cultivating since 20th century. Also naturalized close to the human habitations. Flowering from August to September and probably in other months of the year. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Monday, August 24, 2015

Micronia aculeata


Location - Kitulgala - Makandhawa forest reserve
Expanse - Male 3.8 cm, Female - 4.8 cm 
Reference - The Lepidoptera of Ceylon - F. Moore, F.Z.S. Vol 3 Page 460 - 461.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Devil's ivy/Pothos/Money plant (Epipremnum aureum)

An introduced ornamental  climber native to the Solomon islands. Cultivated and also escaped and naturalized in the lowlands to hill country forests. Rarely flowering.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

දිය කූඩලු/වල් කූඩලු [Diya kudalu/Wal kudalu]/Marsh henna (Hydrocera triflora)

Rather common semi-aquatic perennial occurs in ditches, marsh lands, paddy field margins and stagnant pools from sea level to 140 m a.s.l in all the climatic zones. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Mickey mouse plant/Thomas' bird's eye bush (Ochna thomasiana)

An introduced plant native to Southeast Africa. Cultivated as an ornamental shrub. Flowering intermittently during the year. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

රස තැල් කොළ [Rasa Tel Kola] (Ipomoea marginata[Syn. Ipomoea sepiaria])

Common indigenous vine found in swamp margins, river banks and moist disturbed sites, mainly in the dry zone.  Also occurs in the wet zone. Flowering from July to August

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Annotated checklist of vagrant Cisticolas and allies (Family: Cisticolidae) of Sri Lanka

    Birds that appear outside their normal range are known as vagrants. This post listed up to date published sight records of single *unconfirmed vagrant of the family Cisticolidae (Cisticolas and allies) in Sri Lanka.   

      1)Rufescent Prinia (Prinia rufescens)
Single sight record at Kotte in 1989 by Rex.I. de Silva is the only record (Kotagama S. & Ratnavira G. 2010:283)

References:
Kotagama, S., Ratnavira, G. 2010. An illustrated Guide to the Birds of Sri Lanka. Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka, Colombo.

*Species for which there are only one or two sight records exist categorized here as unconfirmed vagrants. Problematic records without sufficient details are also included.  

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

නියං වැටකොළු[Niyan-vetakolu]/Smooth luffa/Sponge gourd(Luffa cylindrica)

Cultivated climbing herb with uncertain origin. Widely cultivated since young fruits are eaten as a vegetable. Also naturalized in some areas, especially near old and abandoned habitations and cultivated lands. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Senecio ludens

An indigenous herb common in moist places at roadsides, on patanas and forest shrub above 1200 m. Flowering from October to April and possibly all the year round.  

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Isodon walkeri

Rather common indigenous annual herb occurs in shaded or semi-exposed rocky edges of forest streams in the montane zone above 1400 m a.s.l. Flowering from January to February.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Crimson sage (Salvia coccinea)

An introduced herb native to Mexico. Widely cultivated in home gardens. Flowering throughout the year. Sometimes escaped and naturalized near gardens. Flower color and size variable and occurs in bright red, white and pink.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

ඇත් තෝර[Eth thora] (Cajanus trinervius[Atylosia trinervia])

Very common erect shrub occurs in the open patanas of the montane zone from 900 to1800 m a.s.l. Flowering throughout the year. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Tawny Rajah (Charaxes psaphon)

Rather uncommon butterfly flies all over the island except in the higher hills. It is much common in the dry zone especially during the south-west monsoon and scarce in the wet zone. Both sexes especially males settle on wet patches, bird droppings, decaying animal matters and rotting fruits. It is a very fast flier and also take part in migrations. Hill-topping phenomena is also observed of male Tawny Rajas*. According to the sources females are rarely seen, since they are less active and preferring to sit deep in the foliage. Larva feeds on Croton laccifer (ගස් කැප්පෙටියා),  Dalbergia pseudo-sissoo (බඹර වැල්),  Croton aromaticus (කැප්පෙටියා)  and Entada rheedii (පුස් වැල්)

* Male flying up to and staying on a hill top waiting for females.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Sunday, August 9, 2015

වැල් කොහිල [Wel kohila]/Fivefingers (Syngonium angustatum)

Native plant of Central America. Introduced as an ornamental and now naturalized from lowlands to about 1000 m elevations. Also often grown as a pot plant due to its arrow shaped variegated juvenile foliage leaves with silvery along main veins. Adults leaves of climbing stem are much more lobed (3-9 leaflets) and to keep juvenile leaves it is advised to cut-off all the climbing stems that developed.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Friday, August 7, 2015

Lyrate Grappletail (Heliogomphus lyratus)

In June 1926 G,M, Henry collected a single male and female of this very rare and probably seasonal dragonfly from the Haldummulla. F.C. Fraser later on described it as a new Gomphidae species endemic to the Sri Lanka base on those specimens. For over 80 years till in May 2009 Matjaz Bedjanic's records of single male in Kitulgala and a female in Morawaka-Diyadawa road on the slopes of Diyadawa forest, that was the sole available information of this species.
  We could observe and photograph a Male and female on early April of 2015 at a small well shaded stream of Kukulugala proposed forest reserve in the Ratnapura district. Female was oviposting in a small water hole of the stream during our observation and male when disturbed rapidly flew directly upward up to certain height.

* Another single male observed end of May 2015 while settled on a leaf along the roadside from Athweltota to Rusigala in Kaluthara district, a rather disturbed and open habitat comparing to the all of above locations.

References:

de Fonseka, T. (2000). The dragonflies of Sri Lanka. Wildlife Heritage Trust: Colombo. 304 p. 

Fraser F.C. 1933 The Gomphines of Ceylon (Order Odonata), F.C. Fraser, Ceylon Journal of Science (B) Vol. XVIII, Pt 1 December 22, 1933 page 33 

Bedjanic, M., K. Conniff, N. van der Poorten & A. Salamun, 2014. Dragonfly fauna of Sri Lanka: Distribution and biology, with threat status of its endemics. Pensoft, Sofia. 321pp.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Justicia hookeriana

An endemic shrub common along shady rocky stream banks in wet lowland forested areas. Often occurs in water. Flowering from February to September. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

රන් පිළිහුඩුවා[Ran Pilihuduwa]/Black-backed Kingfisher[Oriental Dwarf/Three-toed Kingfisher](Ceyx erithaca erithaca)

An uncommon breeding resident locally occurs from lowlands to mid hills. It encounters solitary or as pairs in shady streams, river banks and ponds in forests and adjasent  well wooded home gardens. Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher feeds on fishes, freshwater crabs and frogs. Its breeding season is from March to April. The nesting burrow is dug in a stream bank or similar earth bank and it lays 2-3 white eggs inside the inner chamber of it. 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

කිඹුල්වැන්න[Kibulwenna]/Alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides)

Native herb of Brazil and Argentina. Invasive in Australia, China, New Zealand,Thailand and USA. In 1995 it was found that Alligator weed has been growing in home gardens of  the Sri Lankan community in Australia as a vegetable by mistake*.  Later on somehow it was introduced to the Sri Lanka and now an invasive weed in several areas, growing in dense masses in shallow water.

* Invasive Plants - A guide to the identification of the most invasive plants in Sri Lanka, Lalith Gunasekara

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Coleus/Painted nettle (Plectranthus scutellarioides)

Native perennial herb of Eastern Asia and Malaysia. Extensively cultivated from lowlands to hills in gardens owing to its variable (Usually combinations of red, brown, pink, green and yellow ) brightly colored leaves. Flowering throughout the year.