Sunday, December 7, 2014

නිහලුවා ගැන වැඩි යමක් : Balanophis ceylonensis (Sri Lankan Keelback) : What We Didn't Know

මෙම කෙටි ලිපිය සඳහා පාදක වූයේ 2014 වන වර්ෂයේ ජනවාරි මස සිදුවූ සර්ප දෂ්ටනයකි. මල් කරවලා නැත්නම් නිහලුවා යනු Natricidae කුලයේ (Family) Natricinae උප කුලයට(Sub Family) අයත් ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ ආවේනික ඝනයක් (Genus) නියෝජනය කරන සුළු විෂ කාණ්ඩයේ සර්පයෙකි. මෙම ලිපියෙන් මා ඉස්මතු කිරීමට උත්සාහ දරන්නේ මෙම සර්ප විශේෂය "සුළු විෂ" සර්පයෙකු යැයි හඳුන්වාදීම කොතෙක් දුරට සාදාරණ ද යන්නයි.


                                                                                                මෙහි සඳහන් දෂ්ටනය සිදුවන අවස්ථාවේදී ගනු ලැබූ චායරූපයක්

1858 දී ජර්මානු පරිසරවේදියෙකු හා උරගවේදියෙකු වූ ඇල්බට් ගුන්තර් (Albert Günther) විසින් Tropidonotus chrysargus ceylonensis ලෙසින් නිහලුවා ලෝකයේ පළමු වරට විද්‍යාත්මකව විස්තර කරන ලදී. එදින පටන් වර්තමානය වන තෙක් මෙම සර්ප විශේෂය විද්‍යාත්මක වර්ගීකරණ කිහිපයකටම බඳුන් වී ඇති අතර Balanophis ceylonensis යනුවෙන් වර්තමානයේ හඳුන්වයි. මෙම සර්ප විශේෂය අනෙකුත් ගොඩබිම් වාසී සර්ප විශේෂ හා සැසදීමේදී විශේෂ ස්ථානයක් හිමිකර ගනී. එනම් Balanophis ඝනයේ මේ වන විට හඳුනාගෙන ඇති එකම සර්ප විශේෂය වීමයි. එබැවින් Balanophis ඝනය මුළු ලොවෙන්ම ශ්‍රී ලංකාවට පමණක් අවේනික වේ. මේ ලිපිය පුරාවටම "නිහලුවා" යන නම පමණක් භාවිත කිරීමට මා තීරණය කලේ,"මල් කරවලා"යන නාමය මෙම සර්පයාගේ පැවැත්මට හානිකර හැකි බැවිනි. සැබෑ කරවල් විශේෂයක් නොවන බැවින් එම නාමය භාවිතා කිරීමට මා පෞද්ගලිකව අකමැත්තක් දක්වයි.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

From a Snake's Perspective : Nagzen the Cobra

Hello Humans, let me introduce my self. My name is Nagzen, a male spectacled cobra living in a small termite mound in Sri Lanka. since i'm a lone male without a girl friend in my territory i get easily bored, so i decided to tell you guys some of my Experience as a Snake that always came across with you humans.


So , from where should i start? Ok i got it, This happened last week, it was a regular day for me,but i was in a big hunger since it's been few days i shed my skin, it's time for a satisfying meal. As i came out of my home sweet home the abandoned termite mound , my forked tongue suddenly sensed something tasty, i flicked my tongue more to get a accurate taste. It's a medium size rat, one of my favorite foods. Then i began my hunt for the delicious rodent. i kept going after the trail and found out it's inside a human habitation, well that sucks! the word "Human" brings horror to my mind. but i have no choice but enter the home in search of my food.. i was so close to my lunch as i silently slither on floor, but what's this? a tiled floor, the worst place to go through. my ventral scales can't do the duty well if i'm on these smooth shiny floor tiles. Things became more worse as the woman in home saw me. she was kinda shocked and started to scream out loud, i'm so glad i don't have external ears , otherwise i might get a ear drum bleeding by that woman's scream. Her husband responded to her quickly and came with a broom in his hand, Oh oooo ! that broom is not a good sign, better get out of here! , but these Damn smooth floor tiles made me look hilarious as i kept slithering on same place, now i have no choice but to defend my self.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Spectacled Cobra : The Reputed Hiss (නයා / නාගයා)

Even though there are more than 3000 species of snakes in the world, There is one snake species that get's reputation and worships from humans than any other snakes. Like the post title suggests, when you hear that hissing, you certainly know what are you dealing with. It's the snake that symbolize the word "Serpent" sometimes. Fearsome reputation, mythical and religious believes, respected in animal kingdom , The Spectacled cobra also known as the Indian cobra is the most well known Cobra species in the genus Naja. Here in Sri Lanka you face this snake in almost all parts of the country.

                                                  (Image Credit- mM,Flickr)

True Cobras are belonging to the genus Naja which includes number of 20-22 species. The reason i used the term "True Cobras" is people think some non Naja snake species like King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) and Rinkhals (Hemachatus haemachatus) are true cobra's just because they show some iconic cobra characteristics like spreading hood and spitting venom. Spectacled cobra classified as Naja naja with no recognized sub species in the genus Naja of the sub Family Elapinae. In our native language sinhala, we call this snake as "නයා" (Naya) or "නාගයා"(Nagaya). If you searched more you will understand that the name Naya/Nagaya we used to call comes from the ancient cultures of India and the Sanskrit word "Naga". Spectacled cobra holds the record of the largest venomous snake species in Sri Lanka.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Common Krait : The Mysterious killer in Sri Lanka (තෙල් කරවලා)

In rural dry zone in Sri Lanka, sometimes people die in their sleep or die due to sudden respiratory failure. There is one snake behind all these unknown deaths, it's the most venomous terrestrial snake in the island "The Common Krait" also known as "Magamaruwa"(මගමරුවා) which means DEATH ON THE WAY

Terrestrial kraits belonging to the genus Bungarus of sub family Elapinae and family Elapidae. There are 18 krait species including five sub species are currently recognized by herpetologists and in the snake island of Sri Lanka we encounter two species which is the most venomous among them is the common krait. The scientific name of the common krait is Bungarus Caeruleus. In sinhalese it's known as "තෙල් කරවලා " (Thel Karawala), "මගමරුවා " (magamaruwa), and "හබරලා" (Habarala)


Common Kraits are distributed through out the dry zone and some parts of intermediate zone up to 1600m elevation. It is a nocturnal snake.(All Krait species are nocturnal) rare to be seen in day time as it hides under logs, piles or underground rodent holes or any dark cold place. Slow moving and sluggish during day time. if felt threatened it coils up and hide it's head inside the coil and wiggle it's tail as a distraction. but totally different story at night. they are very active and could be aggressive if provoked.

Kraits are easy to identified thanks to the large hexagonal vertebral scales and coloration. same conditions applies to the common krait. Dorsal coloration of the common krait ranges from black to bluish black, purple tint black and sometimes brownish black with 20-25 white band pairs on dorsal body. These white bands are usually paired. juvenile common kraits have bright milky white bands all over their body. Head is indistinct from the body and depressed, looks cylindrical from head to tail. It has a red color tongue and small black round pupiled eyes.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Vine Snakes of Sri Lanka

Vine snakes belonging to the colubridae family with few number of species. In Sri Lanka there are two vine snake species have been identified by herpetologists till now. Vine snakes are well known among the people due to the mythical believes.

1) Green Vine Snake

                                                            

Green vine snake is a slender arboreal snake belonging to the genus "Ahaetulla". Its scientific name is "Ahaetulla Nasuta" which is the same name sri lankans used to call it. Sri Lankans call it "ඇහැටුල්ලා" (Ahaetulla) or "ඇස්ගුල්ලා" (As gulla) which means the eye plucker, people believe this snake attack to the eye and pluck it off, makes no sense..all these are mythological believes. Since it's an arboreal snake and likes to hang on small tree branches and vines, most of the time people get bitten in face areas. maybe that helped to pop up such a myth among people. The coloration of the snake helps it to blend well with the habitat of the snake. This camouflage is hard to spot and humans are aware of it and gets bitten.

Green vine snake is distributed through out the island except high hill areas. It's a common snake in the land up to 1000m from sea level. Dorsal coloration is mostly bright green although there are nasutas with brownish color (Not Pulverulenta). Green vine snake can grow up to around 150cm in length. At birth baby vine snakes measures around 30cm. There is a small tip at end of the long snout which is easy to identify. Head is covered with elaborately shaped scales. Unlike other common snakes Ahaetulla species have horizontal pupils in their convex eye. The eye sight of Ahaetulla is sensitive to even small movements. Having a sharp eyesight is a characteristic of all arboreal snakes.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Korean Galaxy S4 vs Original Galaxy S4 (For Sri Lankans)

ලංකාවෙ මේ දවස් වල ජනප්ප්‍රිය Phone එකක් තමයි Samsung Galaxy S4 කියන්නේ. ගොඩක් දෙනෙක් S4 එකක් මිල දී ගන්ඩ මේ වෙනකොටත් සූදානම් වෙනවා ඇති. ඔයාල දැකල ඇති රුපියල් 25,000 - 30,000 ටත් S4 එකක් තියෙනවා කඩවල් වල. කව්රුත් මේවට කියන්නේ කොරියන් වර්ෂන් කියලා.මේවා ඇත්තටම කොරියන් වර්ෂන් ද? බැලූ බැල්මටම ඇත්තම Galaxy S4 එකක් වගේ. ඇයි මේවා මෙච්චර ගණන් අඩු? මම මේ ආර්ටිකල් එකෙන් කියන්ඩ යන්නේ මේ phone වල ඇත්ත කතාව.


මෙන්න මේකයි සීන් එක. ඔරිජිනල් කොරියන් වර්ෂන් එකේ මොඩල් නම්බර් එන්නේ HSV-E300 K/S/L කියලා. K, S ,L  වලින් 4G LTE bandwidths පෙන්නනවා. මේ මොඩල් කොරියාව ඇතුලේ පාවිච්චියට හදපුවා. මීට අමතරව Carrier based phones (ex :Show) කීපයක්ම හොයාගන්ඩ පුලුවන්. Anycall වලින් ගහපු S 4 එකක් නම් තාම දැක්කේ නෑ.
ලංකාවෙ තියෙන්නේ මේ කොරියන් phones නෙමෙයි. HDC කියන Chinese Company එකෙන් නිෂ්පාදනය කරන දුරකථන . ඔයගොල්ලෝ එකේ නිල වෙබ් අඩවියට HDCmobiles.com ගියොත් බලාගන්ඩ පුලුවන් කොහොමද ය මේ විකුණන්නේ  කියලා. මේවා අඩු පිරිවැයකින් හා තත්වයෙන් උසස් නැති Hardware දාල හදන හින්ද තමයි මෙච්චර ගණන් අඩු.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Russell's Viper The Ultimate Viper in Sri Lanka (තිත් පොළගා)

I love Herpetology and Snakes, But i also fears two snakes here in the island. One of them is the Daboia Russelii also known as the Russell's viper with the notorious attitude. in Sinhala we call it "තිත් පොළගා" (Thith Polanga) which means like "the dotted/spotted viper" or "ගැට පොළගා"(Gata Polanga), "ධාර පොළගා"(Dhara Polanga). There are four species in the genus Daboia and in Sri Lanka we have the species Daboia Russelii. This Snake holds the number of second highest snake bites in Sri Lanka, highest number of fatalities and it's the 2nd most venomous viper in the island (Based on LD50 charts , saw scaled viper has more potent venom) as well as the title holder of the longest fangs of any Sri Lankan snake.


Russell's viper is an old world viper ,in other word, a true viper. True vipers doesn't have loreal pits between the eye and nostrils, which means they cannot see through heat vision. Many people might think the large opening in the snout are heat receptors but actually it's the nostril of the russell's viper. Still there is a mystery remains with it's nostril. Many herpertologists described a supernasal sac in this Daboia species, this sac has nerve endings which means it could act as some kind of a sensory organ. This nostril helps people to easily identified the snake as it's the only viper out there with such a big and kinda ugly nostril.

These snakes are widely distributed through out the island from plains to mid hill lands up to 1500m but a common snake in dry zone forests, glass lands and rice fields. Ruesselii can grow up to nearly 5 feet. their babies are around 20-25cm in birth.