Sunday, January 31, 2016

Three-leaved Lantana/Cambara (Lantana trifolia)

An introduced perennial herb or sub-shrub native to tropical America. Naturalized along roadsides of the mid hills. Flowering from March to September.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Friday, January 29, 2016

එළ බටු[Ela batu]/Egg plant/Aubergine/Brinjal (Solanum melongena)

An introduced herb with uncertain origin. Often cultivated as the Brinjal to use its purple oblong fruit as a vegetable. Escaped and naturalized plants also occurs along roadsides and waste lands. Wild fruits are also eaten as a curry. Cultivated plants unarmed.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Allamanda blanchetii

Large introduced shrub native to the Brazil. Cultivated as an ornamental in gardens. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Pogostemon hirsutus

Common endemic herb in under shade of montane and sub montane forests. Often close to the water sources. Flowering from October to March.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Atlas Moth (Attacus taprobanis)

A large moth lives in Southern India and Sri Lanka. Adult moths do not take foods and survive on fat they have stored from the larval period. The females sitting most calm and emit pheromones, that the active males can notice from a distance. As per Moore at that time Attacus taprobanis was a common insect in the Colombo. Probably due to readily availability of its host plant Cinnamon in the cultivation. 

Location - Ambagaspitiya, Gampaha district.
Wing expanse - 17 - 23 cm
Reference - The Lepidoptera of Ceylon - F. Moore, F.Z.S. Vol 2 Page 124-125.
External links -
Larval host plants - "Feeds on Cinnomon and others trees (Thwaites)" - Moore, F.Z.S., 1882-3
                                     Elaeocarpus serratus (වෙරළු/Wild Olive) - (Rohana Gunawardana Personal communication )

Sunday, January 24, 2016

ඔළිඳ[Olinda]/Crab's Eyes/Indian Liquorice (Abrus precatorius)

Common indigenous vine twining around stems of other trees or bushes, occurs from lowlands to lower hills. Seeds used to make ornaments and in old days as goldsmith's weights. Seeds poisonous. Leaves and roots are used in traditional medicine. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Commelina clavata

An indigenous herb restricted to the hill country grasslands and disturbed places from  1600 to 1810 m a.s.l. Flowering September, November and January.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Spiral Ginger (Costus afer)

An introduced large herb native to West Africa. Cultivated as an ornamental and probably also naturalized in some wet zone places*.

* Naturalized plants observed at roadsides of Athweltota and along the Nambapana Ela stream close to the Madakada monastery of Ingiriya.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

වැල් බූටෑ [Wel buta] (Rubus indicus)

An indigenous straggling shrub in montane forests, secondary forest borders, jungle roadsides, hilly slopes and shady areas close to streams from 300 to 2000 m a.s.l. Flowering throughout the year. Glossy red fruits are edible. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Ardisia moonii

Rather common endemic undershrub occurs in shady places of wet zone up to 500 m elevations. Flowering and fruiting from December to May.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

පාලඟ/පලු කන්[Palanga/Palu kan]Uvaria zeylanica

Native slender straggling climber in both wet and dry low country. Mostly near the sea and often on sand dunes. In the wet zone only occurs in secondary shrub.

Monday, January 18, 2016

සැළලිහිණියා [Salalihiniya]/Sri Lanka Hill Myna [Ceylon Grackle/Ceylon Hill Myna] (Gracula ptilogenys)

Rather uncommon endemic bird occurs locally in forests and near by well wooded home gardens, plantations, etc. from wet lowlands to the mid hills. It feeds on fruits, high in the canopy level of the forest, as pairs or as small groups. The breeding season lasts from February to May and probably again from August to September. The nest is a cavity in a tree hole.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

වල් කොබ්බෑ[Wal Kobbe] (Allophylus zeylanicus)

Rather common endemic shrub or small tree occurs in the wet zone forests up to about 2000 m elevations. Flowering from March to May and September to October. Whole plant medicinal.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

ගෙරටිය/ගෙරි ඇට [Geratiya/Geri ata] (Chionanthus zeylanica)

Native shrub or small tree grows mainly in the dry and intermediate zone mixed and evergreen forests as well as the scrub jungles. Uncommon in the wet zone. Often occurs on sandy areas and among rocks from sea level to about 650 m a.s.l.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Kris plant (Alocasia sanderiana)

Globally critically endangered plant naturally found only in two locations, namely Bukidnon and Misamis Occidental (Mindanao Island) of the Philippine. Widely cultivated as an ornamental pot plant in gardens. Not naturalized.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Mollugo (Mollugo pentaphylla)

Common native herb. A weed in open areas, rock crevices and wet places on rock outcrops, mainly in the dry zone.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

කුප්පමේනිය[Kuppameniya]/Indian copperleaf (Acalypha indica)

Very common native weed found along roadsides, waste lands, cultivation, home gardens etc. Used in Ayurvedic medicine.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Indian Dart/Pallid Dart (Potanthus pallida)

Very rare butterfly. W. Ormiston first collected it in Sri Lanka at Haldumulla, and noted in his monograph of Sri Lankan butterflies "The Butterflies of Ceylon" as either a distinct race or a seasonal form of Common Dart (Potanthus pseudomaesa) (Ormiston W., 1924). Since then no authentic published records or  collected specimens or photographs were available of it until Tharaka S PriyadarshanaChamitha De Alwis and Ishara Harshajith Wijewardhane rediscovered it from Paraviyangala mountain of Badulla district on 14th October 2012 and again at Bambarakanda mountain road of Ratnapura district on 7th July 2014. Both locations are situated proximity of Haldummulla, the original locality where Ormiston collected it on or before year 1924. Above female Indian Dart was also photographed at Bambarakanda mountain road on 4th February 2015. No data available on its early stage of the life cycle or the larval host plant in Sri Lanka.

Note: - Two recently published butterfly guides for Sri Lanka have images of Indian Dart. "A Pocket Guide to the Butterflies of Sri Lanka, Second Edition Himesh Dilruwan Jayasinghe, Sarath Sanjeewa Rajapakshe, Chamitha De Alwis, 2015 and A Naturalist's Guide to the Butterflies & Dragonflies of Sri Lanka by Gehan De Silva Wijeyeratne,2015. However the image in the later one is not resembles the Indian dart and probably an incorrect identification of a male Tropic Dart (Potanthus Confucius satra)
  • Ormiston, W., 1924. The Butterflies of Ceylon.
  • T.M.T.S. Priyadarshana, C. de Alwis & G.V.I.H. Wijewardana, 2015, Rediscovery of two Darts (Lepidoptera) in Sri Lanka after 90 years, Taprobanica,  January, 2015. Vol. 07, No. 01: pp. 43–44.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Fringed false pimpemel (Lindernia ciliata)

An indigenous herb grows in wet places among grass and on damp rocks in the dry lowlands and the wet hills up to about 650 m a.s.l. Less commonly occurs also in the wet lowlands. Flowering throughout the year. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

මයානි[Mayani]/Common small justicia (Justicia procumbens)

Common indigenous herb grows in light shade among grass along roadsides, waste lands, scrub lands, etc. from sea level to about 1800 m a.s.l. of the low country to mid hill drier areas (variety procumbens ) and among grass in patana lands above 2000 m a.s.l. (variety latispica) Flowering throughout the year. 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Commelina kurzii

An indigenous ascending and climbing herb common in shaded lowland scrub lands, forests, rocky outcrops, roadsides, banks, etc. from sea level to about 775 m a.s.l. Flowering from December to March.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Curoba sangarida

Location - Kotte
External Links -
Reference - The Lepidoptera of Ceylon - F. Moore, F.Z.S. Vol 2 Page 49 & Plate

Expanse 4 cm
Larval food plantFirecracker flower (Crossandra infundibuliformis) (Sujeeva Gunasena Personal communication)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

සුළු නයි[Sulu-Nayi]/Creeping rungia (Rungia repens)

Common native creeping herb grows among short grass or bare sandy soil in waste grounds and paddy field borders in the dry lowlands. Flowering from September to March.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

පෝටා වැල් [Pota wel] (Pothos scandens)

Very common indigenous climber with roots that attach to tree trunks and rocks. Found in the wet and intermediate lowlands and lower hills. Flowering on hanging branches.

බෙලිපට්ට[Belipatta](Hibiscus tiliaceus)

An indigenous much branched tree occurs mainly near the coast and close to the rivers and streams in the low country. 

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Cutleaf groundcherry (Physalis angulata)

An introduced annual herb native to America. Occasional weed of low moist ground. Common near the Negombo.

Friday, January 1, 2016

නෙළු[Nelu](Strobilanthes zeylanica)

Very rare critically endangered endemic under-shrub grows in moist low country forests up to about 600 m  a.s.l.