Saturday, July 31, 2010

White Four-ring Butterfly(Ypthima ceylonica)

This is all I've got to share with you all today. Sorry for the poor quality, but it was the best I could manage to day.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Grizzled Giant Squirrel (Ratufa macroura) Aka Dandulena Building A Nest

Do you   remember me telling you that its been quite a task to get a Grizzled Giant Squirrel on lens? Well, you couldn't imagine my excitement when I found out one building a nest on a Jackfruit
tree in the garden nest door! It was pretty amazing to see the animal busily carrying twigs in its mouth to the nest with out taking much notice of me. This time I got real close to it and made this footage, which would have been impossible had the squirrels wasn't so absorbed in building the nest. If I'm not terribly mistaken, this one is a male, so it must be the male of this species that builds the nest.  I'll keep an eye on this one and keep you up to date with his progress.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Adult Male Oriental Garden Lizard

Oriental Garden Lizard(Calotes versicolor)males display a range of colors from the grayish brown you see in this recently taken photo to crimson red. I hope to post a few photos at once that shoes these critters showing all those colors sometime.
Image by roosterfeather via Flickr 
Oriental Garden Lizard(Calotes versicolor)
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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Pink Skimmer Dragonfly(Orthetrum pruinosum)

This photo is of a Pink Skimmer Dragonfly(Orthetrum pruinosum), another commonly seen butterfly around here.  Like most of my dragonfly and butterfly images this one was taken in  my garden.

Image by roosterfeather via Flickr
Pink Skimmer Dragonfly(Orthetrum pruinosum)
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Monday, July 26, 2010

Moth Or Butterfly?

Remember the unidentified butterfly that I told you  about yesterday? I uploaded a photo here for identification, and got one reply so far suggesting it's a moth. But the two specimens I observed yesterday were perched on an eggplant with the wings folded. When I checked this link about the differences between moths and butterflies, I came across  a list of features to consider,  and also learned that every such feature has exceptions. This specimen has two butterfly features, club ended antennas vertical wing fold when perched, but has a stout and hairy body of a moth. Could you tell me what this really is?

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Fragrant Water Lily?

Identifying specimens can be pretty hectic some times. It was really so when I tried to determine the identity of this aquatic plant which is very common in Sri Lanka. The same plant was describe by some as Fragrant Water Lily (Nymphaea odorata) and White Lotus  (Nymphaea lotus) by others online! Any way I believe this to be Fragrant Water Lily, and if it is, it must probably have been introduced during the colonial times. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Chocolate Soldier

I was in doubt about what this butterfly really was, for it looks a little darker than the Chocolate Soldier(Junonia iphita) that  I videoed a while ago. So when I uploaded this photo here, my friend Amila confirmed the identification. Thank you Amila!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Green Skimmer Dragonfly (Orthetrum sabina sabina), Close -Up Video

I made this video a little while ago. As in most of my insect videos,this bug was in my garden. Green Skimmer Dragonfly (Orthetrum sabina sabina) is probably the most common dragonfly seen in Sri Lanka, as my blogger friend  Amila Salgado mentions here.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Red-Wattled Lapwing

I took these photos on one bank of the canal I talked about earlier. I can recognize this particular bird from the rest of its flock with it's thinner built and the indifference it has started showing for my presence around the canal.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


My attempts to photograph  Common Lime Butterfly(Papilio demoleus) since the onset of spring this year was just rewarded about a hour ago today. It's beautiful, isn't it ? 

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Small But Beautiful

This is a Common cerulean Butterfly(Jamides celeno) perched on a bean plant in my garden. These are very common around here, but very hard for me to capture on a lens as they don't perchon a spot for long enough  and my camera is not capable of capturing them while they flutter around.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Vibrant Life In A Dirty Canal -5, Indian Pond Heron (Ardeola grayii grayii)

This is yet another frequently  seen bird around the canal. A white -breasted Kingfisher attacked this heron while I was making this footage, but it doesn't show so well in the video. Sigh. The colors are of breeding plumage. This bird is locally known as Kanakoka.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Bug Eat's A Bug!

I really don't have to walk around much these days to create material for this blog. There is a lot of interesting activities that involve interesting critters right in my garden. What you see here is a Yellow Waxtail Dragonfly (Ceriagrion coromandelianum) eating another smaller insect.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Oriental Garden Lizard


                                                                                                                                                                                              Here     are    some     photos    of     Oriental Garden Lizard(Calotes versicolor)   that I've taken. This is a female juvenile that I've observed to be  a permanent tenement of my garden.

This one here is an adult male that I photographed at my workplace' Garden.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Small Cupid Butterfly(Chilades parrhasius) From My Garden

I videoed this beautiful little butterfly at my garden a few days ago. Luckily it flapped its wings a little while perching  on a leaf of a long bean plant, but I wasn't lucky enough to capture it hovering. 

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Frog In The Workplace

I saw this frog on a wall inside a ward at our hospital last Thursday. My friend Bushana at Lakdasun helped me to identify it. I'll quote him below.

"It is Spotted tree frog (Polypedates maculatus) probably the most common tree frog of Sri Lanka widely distributed in both dry and wet zone lowlands. It is often encountered in anthropogenic habitats such as inside bathrooms, banana groves..etc during day time."

Thank you Bushana!

By the way, there'll be another butterfly video the morow! Learn more about Spotted tree frog............

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Small Stretch Of Forest In The Middle Of City Of Kurunegala-3, Juvenile Spotted snakehead Fish In A pond

There is a pond on the way to the top of the Ethugala Rock, in the wood in the side of the path. When I crawled under the bush and had a look at the water, there were hundreds of tiny Spotted snakehead fish   (Channa punctata). We call it Madakanaya or Madakariya in Sinhalese. You can have more information on this freshwater fish here.  

Freshwater fishes of Sri Lanka

Well, that's all I've got to share about the small forest that surrounds Ethugala Rock, for the time being. That's somewhere I visit often, so I'll probably be able to tell you what other kinds of  critters inhabit the forest, with time to come. Await some butterflies on next posts! 

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Small Strech Of Forest In The Middle Of The City Of Kurunegala -2, Toque Macaque Monkeys This Time

Toque Macaque  monkey (Macaca sinica ) Aka Rilawa is endemic to Sri Lanka. I saw this small troop near the top of Ethugala Rock. It is almost impossible to pass a troop of them without  bribing them with food. These dare devils snatch anything edible from the hands of the travelers. It's a common occurrence at every travel destination with these monkeys. I feel  very uneasy thinking what kinds of food find their way in to these monkey's systems, as travelers happen to carry all kinds of food with them. It must have been people who gave the macaques a taste of picnic snacks by throwing tidbits at them. 

You will find some very interesting facts about these monkeys here, here, and here, they are world famous!

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Small Strech Of Forest In The Middle Of The City Of Kurunegala -1

I've decided to make a series of posts with my observations at the recent visit to the Ethugala rock in the middle of Kurunegala. Surrounding the rock is a small forest, the exact area of which I don't know yet. Nor do I know what type of forest it exactly   is yet, but I guess it to be a mix of lowland wet   and dry zone forests, with tall trees drown closely together, some canopy, but much less underbrush, ferns, orchids and moss.  See how the forest is grown on both sides of the twisting road that gets you to the top of the rock.

This palm, Caryota urens , is locally called Kithul.   A sugary fluid can be collected by manipulating the flower in a certain way,which is used to produce treacle, todi, and and jaggery.     

There is some vegetation on the rock surface too, but they are sort of pygmy, a natural bonsai effect caused by lack of soil to grow in.

This is a rare sight, a flowering Corypha umbraculifera (Talipot palm).(center of the pic) This palm bares a flower only once with in its lifetime, and considered a bad omen by local folks when it does.  

There is plenty of evidence that a considerable proportion of the forest is secondary forest, clearings and coconut palms.

All right, that's all for today, but, to be continued, stay put!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Chocolate Soldier (Junonia iphita) Butterfly In My Garden

Spring is giving way to summer and there are lots of butterflies fluttering around. I see a significant increase in their populations this year. Here is a video of a Chocolate Soldier Junonia iphita my garden. I'll try to get the other kinds on video too. There is a huge variety of them, some are so unbelievably vivid in color. Learn more about this butterfly........