Sunday, April 24, 2016

Marbled rock frog (Nannophrys marmorata)

English: Marbled rock frog / Kirtisinghe's rock frog
Binomial: Nannophrys marmorata
Sinhala: දුම්බර ගල්පර දිය මැඩියා [Dumbara galpara diya madiya]

Marbled rock frog is an endemic species of frogs found in Knuckles mountain range. It is one of two species of frogs in Sri Lanka which belong to genus Nannophrys. This species is a semi-aquatic and lives in rock crevices and on wet rocks. Flat shaped body and the color pattern of the skin are adaptions for the living habitat. Even the behavior is similar to N. ceylonensis, Nannophrys marmorata has been adopted to live with dry, changing weather conditions. But other relative of the same genus, N. ceylonensis, is mostly found in wet rocky areas of covered wet zone forests.

In the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, this frog is categorized as "Critically endangered" due to its limited distribution. Human activities such as tourism and agricultural activities are considered to be the main threats for the species.

  • Manamendra-Arachchi, K. & R. Pethiyagoda (2006): Sri Lankan amphibians [in Sinhala]. – WHT Publications, Colombo.
  • The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(tm) 2015-4 -

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Plain tiger (Danaus chrysippus)

English: Plain tiger
Binomial: Danaus chrysippus

Plain tiger is a widely distributed butterfly in Asian and African countries. It is a slow flier due to the less threat from predators. This butterfly is ignored by predators due to the unpalatable alkaloids contaminated in the body. Therefore some other species of butterflies such as Indian fritillary, mimic the characteristics of Plain tiger. In Sri Lanka, it is more common in dry zone compared to the wet zone. Above photographs were taken at Yala national park in June, 2015.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Asian Pintail (Acisoma panorpoides)

English: Asian Pintail
Binomial: Acisoma panorpoides

Asian Pintail is a widely distributed dragonfly in many parts of the world including Sri Lanka. It is a weak flier and can be seen close to vegetation in water streams and reservoirs. Colour of the male is light blue and the observed female was yellowish. Above photographed one was found at Makandawa rain forest, Kithulgala in February, 2016.

Reference: Dragonflies of Sri Lanka - Matjaž Bedjaniè, Karen Conniff, Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Golden-eyed shrub frog (Pseudophilautus ocularis)

English: Golden-eyed shrub frog
Binomial: Pseudophilautus ocularis
Sinhala: රන්වන් ඇස් ඇති පඳුරු මැඩියා[Ranwan as athi panduru madiya]

Pseudophilautus ocularis is an endemic species of shrub frogs restricted to the cloud forests of Rakwana mountain range of Sri Lanka. Lives only in covered forests and close to forest margins. Above photographed frogs were found in Sooriyakanda area where elevation above the sea level ranges from 1080m to 1160m. Having gold colored eyes is an attractive feature of this species and that caused to have the Latin specie name "ocularis" with the meaning of "of the eyes". In IUCN red list, this species has been rated as 'Critically Endangered' due to its limited distribution that is only in higher altitudes of Rakwana mountains. Habitat loss is considered as the main threat for the existence of this species.

  • Manamendra-Arachchi, K., and Pethiyagoda, R. (2005). ''The Sri Lankan shrub-frogs of the genus Philautus Gistel, 1848 (Ranidae: Rhacophorinae), with description of 27 new species.'' Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement 12, 163-303.
  • The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(tm) 2015-4 -
  • Manamendra-Arachchi, K. & R. Pethiyagoda (2006): Sri Lankan amphibians [in Sinhala]. – WHT Publications, Colombo.