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.