Monday, December 30, 2019

Pogostemon rupestris

An endemic annual herb grows under shade close to streams in the montane and sub montane forests from 1200 to 2400 m elevations. Flowering from February to July. 

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Violet (Viola betonicifolia)

Rather common native herb of montane to sub montane areas in the wet zone from 1000 to 2000 m elevations. Flowering and fruiting from February to April.

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Dicliptera neesii

An endemic prostrate herb grows among grasses in under shade of secondary dry lowland forests. Often occurs close to streams. Flowering from May to August.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Blumea hieracifolia

An indigenous perennial herb growing in patana grasslands, roadsides and forest margins above 1000 m a.s.l. Flowering from October to May. The variety flexuosa is endemic to the Sri Lanka and it occurs in two forms (yellow - flowered and purple - flowered)

Monday, December 16, 2019

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Jerdon’s Leafbird (Chloropsis jerdoni)

Common breeding resident of forests, open wooded areas and home gardens of the dry lowlands. Uncommon in wet lowlands and hills up to about 1100m a.s.l.  It lives as pairs or as family parties during the breeding season after the young are fledged. It has  very harsh calls and often mimics other birds. Jerdon’s Leafbird feeds on insects, fruits and nectar of flowers in the tree canopy. The breeding season lasts from November to May. The nest is a small hammock, slung between two twigs of a small forked branch and well hidden often high in a tree in foliage. 

Sunday, October 20, 2019

White frangipani/Bridal bouquet (Plumeria pudica)

An introduced shrub native to Panama, Colombia and Venezuela. Cultivated as an ornamental in home gardens. 

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Desert Rose (Leuenbergeria bleo)

An introduced shrub native to Panama, Columbia and Venezuela. Cultivated in home gardens as an ornamental. 

Friday, October 18, 2019

Jacquemontia paniculata

Probably an indigenous vine occurs on sandy soil in the dry zone grasslands, thickets and cultivated lands. 

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Brahminy Blind Snake/Flowerpot Snake/දුමුටු කණඋල්ලා/[Dumutu Kanaulla](Indotyphlops braminus)

A small non venomous worm like blind snake lives under the soil, under and inside decaying logs, under stones and leaf litter. Brahminy Blind Snake is worldwide distributed as a result of human activities (Transported in the soil of plants. Hence its common name Flowerpot Snake). Flowerpot Snake feeds on ants, termites, insect larvae and on caterpillar droppings. It occurs from low country to about 1200 m elevations in Sri Lanka. It usually encountered crawling on soil surface during rains when they are flooded out of their subterranean haunts. Brahminy Blind Snake is a parthenogenesis (Entirely female) species producing 2 - 7 eggs without mating (In other words each individual able to found a new colony. Probably the only such snake species in the world). There is a belief that Blind Snakes enters the ears of people sleeping on the ground (Hence their vernacular name කණඋල්ලා)

Body length at birth - 35 mm
Body length of adult Snakes - 150 -170 mm

Monday, October 7, 2019

Pavonia zeylanica

An indigenous herb of roadsides, waste lands and disturbed habitats from coastal areas to about 600 m a.s.l. in the dry zone. 

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Common Guava Blue/Woodapple Blue (Virachola isocrates)

Rather common butterfly but seldom seen since it inhabits mainly the canopy. Widely distributed in arid, dry and intermediate zones of the country where its principal larval food plant Limonia acidissima (Woodapple/දිවුල්) grows. Its main flight season is from June to September. Larva feeds on the soft pulp of the Woodapple fruit after eating its way into the fruit through its hard shell. It also prevents the fruit fall by spinning a web around its stalk and top of the fruit. In Sri Lanka, Common Guava Blue  larva also feeds on කුකුරුමාන් (Catunaregam spinosa) and දෙළුම්/Pomergranate (Punica granatum) fruits.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Opaque 6-Lineblue (Nacaduba beroe minima)

An uncommon butterfly found in wet zone forests up to  900 m a.s.l.  Its larva feeds on flowers and flower buds of Dalbergia pseudo-sissoo (බඹර වැල්)

Friday, August 2, 2019

ගැරඬිදූල් වැල්/මැඩිය වැල් [Gerandi dul wel/Mediya wel](Cayratia pedata)

An indigenous liana grows in forest edges, river banks and roadsides up to 1000 m elevations. Flowering from August to June.

Flower size - 5-6 mm across

Thursday, August 1, 2019

ලොකට්/Loquat/Japan Plum/Japanese Medlar (Eriobotrya japonica)

An introduced fruit tree native to the Japan and China. Occasionally cultivated in hill country gardens for its edible fruits and fragrant flowers. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Monday, July 15, 2019

Green Pergesa Hawkmoth (Pergesa acteus)

Location - Polgasowita
Wing expanse - 6 to 7 cm
Food PlantsElephant Ear/Caladium bicolor (Sujeeva GunasenaPersonal communication), පණු අල /Typhonium trilobatum (Moore F., 1882-3)
Life Cycle
Reference - The Lepidoptera of Ceylon - F. Moore, F.Z.S. Vol 2 Page 23.
External Links

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Monday, July 8, 2019

Drooping Shadowdamsel (Ceylonosticta lankanensis)

Commonest Shadowdamsel of Sri Lanka occurs from lowlands to mid-hills of southwestern part of the country in both forested steams as well as the disturbed habitats. It is also endemic to the island as all other Shadowdamsels. 

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Dark Forestdamsel (Platysticta apicalis)

Locally common insect inhabiting streams and rivulets of southwestern and central forested areas from lowlands to mid-hills. It occurs mainly during April to September. (Bedjanic, M., K. et. al. 2014)

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Adam's Shadowdamsel (Ceylonosticta adami)

Adam's Shadowdamsel is one of the rarest endemic damselfly so far recorded only from few localities of the Knuckles range and its outskirts in the north-central part of the country . It was originally described from specimens collected from Madugoda near Urugalla in 1932 by F.C. Fraser.  After more than seven decades Karen Conniff observed and photographed it in Simpson's forest near Hunnasfalls in April 2006 and again in October 2007 and 2010. Karen Conniff and Matjaz Bedjanic observed a single juvenile female near Urugalla in end of May 2009. Matjaz Bedjanic also reported it from two streams in Simpson's forest in October 2012. Above pictures were taken at Dothalugala Camp Site area of the Knuckles mountain range.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Serendib Forestdamsel (Platysticta serendibica)

Common endemic damselfly inhabiting small streams in secondary and primary forests as well as the degraded habitats of the central and southwestern parts of the country. Much common in the wet low country but occurs also up to about 1000 m a.s.l. in the hills.  

Saturday, June 22, 2019

මහනුවර පඳුරු මැඩියා/Kandyan Shrub Frog(Pseudophilautus rus)

An endemic shrub frog common in low vegetation, leaf litter, moss covered stones and logs in both shaded forests as well as the anthropogenic habitats of the Kandy district from 500-800 m a.s.l. It is very active at dusk and can be seen calling from leaves and branches of shrubs less than 1 m above the ground. It hides inside leaf litter, crevices in trees and cracks in the soil during the day time. So far it has been reported from KandyPeradeniyaGelioyaGampola, etc. Peabotuwage et. al. recorded it from Uda Maliboda trail of the Samanala Nature Reserve in 2012. This one was also photographed in the same trail at a tributary of Seethawaka Ganga river.

Peabotuwage I, Bandara IN, Samarasinghe D, Perera N, Madawala M, Amarasinghe C, Kandambi HKD, Karunarathna DMSS. 2012. Range extension for Duttaphrynus kotagamai (Amphibia: Bufonidae) and a preliminary checklist of herpetofauna from the Uda Mäliboda Trail in Samanala
Nature Reserve, Sri Lanka. Amphibian and Reptile Conservation 5(2):52-64(e38).

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

මුක්කං හොඹු ඇති පඳුරු මැඩියා/Pug nosed Shrub Frog (Pseudophilautus silus)

An endemic shrub frog inhabiting stream banks of both closed canopy rain forests and  open anthropogenic habitats from 1550 to 1600 m elevations. Two populations occurs near Agarapatana and Haputale on either side of the Horton plains plateau.  As per Anslem de Silva another population  found in Mandaramnuwara (de Silva A, 2009). This one was photographed at Bambarakanda waterfalls close to the Thangamale sanctuary where Haputale population was recorded.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

විශාල පාදැති පඳුරු මැඩියා/Bigfoot Shrub Frog(Pseudophilautus macropus)

An endemic shrub frog occurs only in the Knuckles massif from 600 to 760 m elevations. It found only on boulders and rock crevices in or adjacent to the streams flowing through both closed and open canopy habitats and rarely on tree trunks along stream banks.  

Sunday, June 16, 2019

දුම්බර පඳුරු මැඩියා/Knuckles Shrub Frog (Pseudophilautus fulvus)

An endemic shrub frog restricted to the Knuckles range from 450 to 1220 m elevations, inhabiting closed canopy habitats of natural forests, secondary forests, Cardamom cultivation and home gardens. It can be observed during the night on branches, tree trunks and moss-covered rocks. 

Friday, June 14, 2019

කුඩාකන් පඳුරු මැඬියා/Small eared Shrub Frog (Pseudophilautus microtympanum)

An endemic shrub frog inhabiting both primary and secondary montane forests as well as the home gardens and tea plantations from 1500  to 2140 m elevations in the central hills. It is the dominant frog in and around the Horton Plains National Park. Also occurs in Pattipola, Ambewela, Agara pathana and Nuwaraeliya. It calls throughout the day and night though usually hides during the day time under logs, tree holes, root crevices, rocks, under leaf litter and such other micro habitats. Eggs are laid in humus or at the base of grass tussocks. Juveniles are usually found among grassy vegetation and such other disturbed habitats. 

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Biophytum proliferum

An indigenous herb with branching stems, occurs in open sunny places such as among bushes in tea plantations and roadsides from mid hills to higher hills. Often forms large mats covering considerable space. Flowering throughout the year. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

White clover/Dutch clover (Trifolium repens)

An introduced climbing herb native to Europe. Naturalized among grasses in the hill country.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Flame Tree (Brachychiton acerifolius)

A native tree of Australia. Introduced to Sri Lanka in 1882 (Macmillan H.F., 1910).  "Several herbarium specimens collected from the South Garden of the Peradeniya available, but doubtless widely cultivated elsewhere 'eg. Talawakelle Estate, Nuwaraeliya District" (Dassanayake M.D. et. al., 1995). This single tree was observed at a roadside location of Boralanda - Haputhale B353 road near Glananore Estate. Flowering in May and June with large masses of red blossoms, when the tree is bare of leaves. 

Friday, June 7, 2019

Small hop clover/Least hop clover (Trifolium dubium)

An introduced herb native to Europe, Asia minor and Northern Asia. Naturalized along roadsides and open places among grasses in the higher hills of Central and Uva provinces.

Flower - 4mm long in heads of 5 - 7 mm
Leaflets- 5 - 10 mm long

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Triangle Skimmer (Orthetrum triangulare triangulare)

Rather rare dragonfly found in marshes, streams and pools of the higher elevations in the Knuckles range and Central hills. Isolated records also available from Nakiyadeniya, Hiyare and Kanneliya.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Conchidium braccatum [Syn: Eria braccata]

Rather common native epiphyte on trunks of trees in the submontane and montane forests from 1000 to 2150 m altitudes. 

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Ceylon Treebrown (Lethe daretis)

rather common endemic butterfly restricted to hill country forests above 1500 m a.s.l. It flies all the year round though much common from March to April. Its larva feeds on leaves of  a bamboo species occurs at the higher elevations (Sinarundinaria debilis)

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Plectranthus lanuginosus

An introduced herb native to tropical Africa. Naturalized in waste places and along roadsides of the upper hill country. Mainly in and around Nuwaraeliya.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Ribwort Plantain (Plantago lanceolata)

An introduced perennial herb native to Europe and north and central Asian countries. Naturalized in grassy places, forest edges, roadsides and as a weed in cultivated fields of the upper montane zone. Flowering throughout the year. Common around the Nuwaraeliya

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Pied Bushchat (Saxicola caprata atrata)

An uncommon breeding resident locally common in grasslands, open areas and gardens of the mid hills and above. It lives as pairs and feeds on insects, darting down on them from top of a bush or other such places, usually where it used to sit on. Its breeding season lasts from February to March. The nest is a open cup made out of grass blades and rootlets, often well concealed on a hill slope or top of a bank, where it lays 2 - 4 eggs. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Trailing St. John's wort (Hypericum humifusum)

An introduced herb native to the Europe. Naturalized in open places of the upper montane zone. 

Monday, May 27, 2019

Singalese Hedge Blue (Udara singalensis)

An uncommon endemic butterfly flies in forested areas above 1500 m elevations. It is much common from February to May. Singalese Hedge Blue is usually found settling in stream beds or on wet roads. No information available on its early stages of the life cycle. 

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Eriocaulon longicuspe

An indigenous rosulate perennial of marshy slopes and stream sides of the uplands.

Flower head width - 6 to 10 mm

Friday, April 19, 2019

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Gynura zeylanica

An endemic herb grows in rock crevices and between stones of walls from 3000 to 4000 ft elevations. Local and quite rare. Flowering from January to May.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

පෝරු කෑදැත්තා/පොරෝ කෑදැත්තා[Poru Keadetta/Poro Keadetta]Malabar Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros coronatus)

Common breeding resident of forests and such wooded areas from dry lowlands to lower hills.Usually seen as  pairs to large flocks on tall trees along river banks. Malabar Pied Hornbill feeds mainly on wild fruits like Banyan figs, Palu berries, etc. But also eats any small animals it can catch. Its breeding season lasts from April to August. The nest is a tree cavity where female bird is sealed with mud within it by the male bird. She lays eggs and stays in the nest till the chicks grows up. Once the space inside is not enough for the chicks and the mother bird, she breaks out it and resealed it until chicks would fully grown up and emerge out of it by breaking the seal again. Male bird feeds the female during her stay inside the cavity and later on pair feeds the chicks.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

අළු මුගටියා[Alu Mugatiya]/Indian Grey Mongoose (Herpestes edwardsii)

Grey Mongoose is a common mammal found throughout the island up to about 2100 m elevations. It is much common in the grasslands and lightly wooded places of the dry lowlands, northwards from the north central province. It ia also common in Sigiriya and several other forested areas of Mathale district though very rare in the southern part of the country. It is a more diurnal in its habits and active mostly early in the morning or late afternoon. Grey Mongoose usually encounters as solitary individuals or as pairs.  It preys on small mammals, birds, lizards, frogs, snails, small snakes, grubs, insects etc. But also feeds on fruits, berries and roots of certain plants to a lesser extent and sometimes even eats carrion. There is not defined breeding season for this animal in Sri Lanka and mating occurs whenever the female comes into season. Female Grey Mongoose give birth to two to four pups in a chamber dug into an anthill or an earthen bank and shelter them in it for few months. Pups may remain with the mother for about 6 months. 

Friday, March 15, 2019

Crimson Tip (Colotis danae danae)

A common butterfly restricted to the thorn scrub and waste places along the northwestern coastal arid zone from Eluwankulam to the Jaffna.  It flies year-round though much common from October to January just after the first rain of the northeast monsoon. Crimson Tip is a very active insect and it flies rapidly closer to the ground among thorny vegetation. Its only known larval host plant is Cadaba fruticosa.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Long-tailed Shrike/Rufous-backed Shrike/Rufous-rumped Shrike/දික්පෙඳ සබරිත්තා/ගුරු ඇස්පටියා[Dikpendha Sabariththa/Guru Aespatiya] (Lanius schach)

Rather uncommon breeding resident distributed mainly in the North and North-western dry and arid zones. Rare in the North-central region. It inhabits open country, forests and scrub lands, often as pairs or as solitary birds. It usually perches on an exposed branch of a bush or a post and catches its prey on air. Long-tailed Shrike feeds mainly on insects such as grasshoppers and beetles . But also catch small lizards, frogs and sometimes nesting birds. The breeding season lasts from February to June. The nest is a cup made out of grasses, creeper-stems, rootlets, etc. placed often in  thorny Acacias where it lays 2-4 eggs

Monday, March 11, 2019

Striped Pierrort (Tarucus nara)

Common butterfly flies only in the northern part of the country from coastal thorn scrub of the western coast from Mannar to Pooneryn and throughout the Jaffna Peninsula. Its main flight season is from October to March. Striped Pierrort larva feeds on leaves of the Ziziphus jujuba often attended by ants.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

ඉල්ල[Illa] (Callicarpa tomentosa)

Common native shrub or small tree of scrublands, home gardens, forests edges and roadsides of wet lowlands and the hill country. Flowering from August to September and March.