Saturday, August 28, 2010

Know what this spider is?

I took this photo yesterday. This spider was on a  really impossible place by a roadside, on a web spun among some grass. However I tried, I couldn't make a well focused shot at this one. I couldn't bring myself to discard all those images though. I chose one of the least crappy ones, had a go at it with Picnik's auto fix tool. Then I did some tweaks to the background with my favorite Gimp, and here's the result. I've uploaded this image here on Lakdasun forum for possible identification. Pleas do tell me if you know what this species is.  

Monday, August 23, 2010

An Indian Black Turtle Juvenile

Indian Black Turtle or Indian Pond Terrapin Me...Image by roosterfeather via FlickrThis little tortoise was crawling a neighborhood garden when I saw it. After taking some quick photos and video I set it free in to a stream in a nearby rice field. It was so small that two of the same size could  easily have fitted in to my palm .
The link at the end of the post says that  Indian Black Turtle or Indian Pond Terrapin (Melanochelys trijuga) is limited to the northern low wet and dry zone parts in Sri Lanka, but I've seen them often in the western province too, where there is still or slow flowing   fresh water such as rice fields, ponds, rain-filled old granite mines etc. 
Indian Black Turtle or Indian Pond Terrapin Me...Image by roosterfeather via Flickr
 It's said that these tortoises are near threatened. One factor which may contribute to that in Sri Lanka is  that people have a taste for it's meat. Some people hunt these and some times these critters bite on fishing bait get themselves caught. 
 ndian Black Turtle or Indian Pond Terrapin Mel...Image by roosterfeather via Flickr

This link here   provides a whole lot more information on  Indian Black Turtle.

 PS-Hi all, Looks like my identification of this animal is not entirely correct,as my  friend Bushana says in his comment. I'll quote him here in case you don't notice it.

"............What you have photographed here is Spotted black turtle(Melanochelys trijuga thermalis) a sub species with a face with bright red, orange or yellow spots. This subspecies has wide distribution in Sri Lanka(It doesnot imply that it is common) and specimens were reported from varies places throughout the country such as Colombo, Jaffna, Trinco, Kandy,Anuradhapura, Tissamaharama, Kalpitiya, Welimada..etc. Other subspecies M.t.parkeri or Parker's Black turtle -comparatively larger than this one and no color spots on the face- is restricted to Northern part of the country. So as a species it is distributed throughout whole island in suitable habitats contrary to what it is said in the link you have given above............"

Thanks Bushana!
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Friday, August 6, 2010

White-breasted Waterhen

This video is the result of weeks of waiting and observing one single spot near a paddy field in Kurunegala. On the route I've chosen to walk between my workplace and home is a big shallow hole close to a rice field that gets filled by the rain in the rainy season. That's where I saw an opportunity to have a go at a  White-breasted Waterhen(Amaurornis phoenicurus), locally known as Korawakka . But it was no easy task. These birds will remain in the open as long as I leave them alone, but dash in to hiding if I so much as  just look at them. But today in the morning I got lucky with one. Having made a couple of videos, I moved on for work. Although it was pretty hot and humid when m,y work was over, I decided to walk home with out taking a bus, hoping I'd be lucky again. And this time there were two of them. I couldn't get the two together in the video though. Like some scientific information of this bird?   

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Insects are the most varied critters of the world, and Sri Lanka is no different. Grasshoppers are my favorite insects next to butterflies and dragonflies, mostly due to the bright colors they boast. This is one of the many types of grasshoppers I see in my own garden.

One Weird Looking Insect

Saw this insect at one my friends garden last Sunday. I'll get back to this if could pin down an identification on this bug.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Spotted Snakehead Fish(Channa punctata )

Spotted Snakehead Channa punctata is a very commonly seen fish among the fresh water habitats of the wet zone lowlands of Sri Lanka. I'm not sure about its availability in other parts of the island.  The biggest I've seen of these is about 3-3 inches in length, though there is online information suggestive of adult Spotted Snakehead fish growing much bigger than that. I've observed these fish to be very vicious predators. When I was a kid, I once accidentally put a live Spotted Snakehead together with some kind of a fresh water insect in a jam jar full of water. Soon after the fish spotted the bug swimming around, the bug found its way into the fish's system with in a shockingly short time!  Learn more......    

Monday, August 2, 2010

Indian Skipper frog / Skittering frog (Euphlyctis cyanophlyctis)

I've seen these little frogs abundant in wet zone lowland fresh water habitats of Sri Lanka.  I took this photo yesterday at a pond made to water some crops, at Alawwa, a wet zone lowland area. I don't know  the exact distribution of this frog in Sri Lanka yet.           

Sunday, August 1, 2010