DRAGONFLIES AND DAILY BUTTERFLIES
The River Ljuta is a heaven on earth for insects. Some 15 species of dragonflies and 50 species of butterflies can be found in the area of the River Ljuta. Particularly outstanding is the Konavle Knight (Caliaeschna microstigma), strictly protected regardless of being the most numerous species in Croatia.
The female of this dragonfly lays its eggs in submerged moss at the shores of the river, which provides optimal conditions for the larvae to develop. They grow up as good flyers and can fly considerable distances away from the water. They often fly in flocks above brooks or surrounding trees, speeding toward their prey in dynamic and explosive flight, eating insects they catch in the air.
Among daily butterflies, it is worth singling out two species of the Hesperiidae, the Dwarf Skipper (Caliaeschna microstigma) (very rare species in Croatia) and Eastern Skipper (Carcharodus orientalis). Another species is the Greek Chrysophanus virgureae (Lycaena ottomanus), which in Croatia lives only on the territory of the County of Dubrovnik and Neretva. The Satyrium favonis or Oak Hairstreak (Favonius quercus) also lives around the River Ljuta, one of the rare habitats in the south of Croatia inhabited by this species.