Trakia Journal of Sciences, Vol. 15, № 2,2017 101
Trakia Journal of Sciences, No2, pp101-105, 2017
Copyright © 2017Trakia University
Available online at:
ISSN 1313-7050 (print)
ISSN 1313-3551 (online) doi:10.15547/tjs.2017.02.001
CONTRIBUTION TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF NYMPHALIDAE FAUNA
(LEPIDOPTERA: RHOPALOCERA) IN KOSOVO
F. N. Zhushi1*, P. S. Bytyci2, M. A. Ismail2, M. Q. Musliu2
1Department of Biology, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University "Hasan Prishtina",
2Southeast European University (SEEU), Tetovo, FYR Macedonia
Insects of the order Lepidoptera are among the most explored in Europe. This order is presented with a
rich variety, especially in the Balkan Peninsula, which includes also the state of Kosovo. In this paper the
results of the research of Nymphalidae family in the region of Llapusha in Kosovo, specifically in the
southern part of the mountain ranges of Shkoza, for the period April to July 2016 are presented. As a
result of this research 35 species of Nymphalidae butterflies have been recorded, among them Melanargia
russiae (Esper 1783) as a new species for Kosovo.This research is conducted five years after a first study
of butterflies in this region took place and four years after the wildfire occurred in the area, which
destroyed a large part of the vegetation. After this period, as a result of secondary succession, there is a
renewal of vegetation, and a significant number of Nymphalidae butterflies.
Key words: Butterflies, mountain range Shkoza, biodiversity, fire
The existing data on the Lepidoptera fauna in
Kosovo include mainly those from Rebel and
Zerny (1, 2) and Jakšić (3-5) that were
conducted in national parks Sharri and
Bjeshkët e Nemuna (Accursed Mountain) and
the mountain of Pashtriku. The mountain
range of Shkoza is located in the central part of
Kosovo and they divide the region of Llapusha
from the Anadrini region. Its terrain
configuration is hilly mountainous with an
altitude of 640m up to 893m. The initial part of
the mountain range is characterized by low
mountains in the North and North West, while
in the Northeastern part begins a narrow
valley. The climate of this region is
continental, with some different elements of
Mediterranean climate, which is characterized
by cold winters and long, hot and dry
summers. Because of the limestone
composition of rocks, the soil composition is
“terra rossa” (red soil). The geologic structure,
altitude and weather conditions have
contributed that this area has a pretty rich
diversity of flora and fauna.
*Correspondence to: Ferdije Zhushi Etemi,
Department of Biology, Faculty of Mathematics
and Natural Sciences, University "Hasan
Prishtina"- Pristina“Mother Theresa” street nr.5
10000 Prishtina, Kosovo; Fax:+38138244187
The massif area of Shkoza is very rich in plant
species starting from those low up to vascular
one. In this region appears the plant association
Quercetum pubescentis–cerris (6). Due to the
large presence of wood hornbeam – Carpinus
betullus (White hornbeam) and Carpinus
orinetalis (black hornbeam), these ridges were
named Shkoza - Hornbeam. Characteristic of
this region is the drought during the summer
due to the insufficiency of water resources.
MATERIAL AND METHOD
The research was conducted during the months
April to July 2016 in 11 localities in the massif
of Shkoza (Figure 1). The butterflies were
collected by entomological net; they were
observed, photographed and identified in the
field, only a number of samples were preserved
for further studies. The determination is
performed in Zoology lab at the Department of
Biology of the University of Prishtina "Hasan
Prishtina". Identification is based according to
Tolman and Lewington (7) and Misja (8). In
addition to these sources, the website
www.lepiforum.de (11) was consulted.
Species richness, number of specimens-
abundance, Shannon-Wiener diversity index H'
(diversity of species in a sample), Evenness
index E (quantitative representation of
specimens among species in a sample) and
ZHUSHI F. N., et al.
102 Trakia Journal of Sciences, Vol. 15, № 2,2017
Sörensen’ssimilarity index-So, were calculated
using ComEcoPaC – Community Ecology Parameter Calculator. Version 1. (12)
Figure 1. Map with surveyed localities
Table 1. Surveyed localities with habitat types, coordinates and altitude
Mjethi (Dry meadows with
42o 25'00. 40''
20 o 42' 06.19''
Te bunari i fushes (Agro
ecosystems with water springs
in the vicinity and animal
42 o24'45. 57''
20 o 41' 46.10''
combined with grasslands
with many pioneer species
occurred after the fire in
42 o25'00. 20''
20 o 41' 30. 95''
Zhdilla( Dry meadows with
42 o25'32. 44''
20 o 42' 19.54''
Arat në Rrafsh
42 o25'19. 72''
20 o 43' 21.71''
Vrella (Agroecosystems with
water springs in the vicinity)
42 o25'42. 87''
20 o 42' 58.49''
Malet e Cerit 1 (Woodland
and woodland margins)
42 o43'39. 56''
20 o 43' 39.56''
Malet e Cerit 2 (Woodland
with alpine meadows )
42 o24'20. 96''
20 o 43' 10.22''
Shkoza e kronit (Inside the
settlements, near the area with
42 o 25'10. 51''
20 o 42' 45.32''
Jezeri i Cerit( Woodland with
dry rocky meadows)
42 o 24'48. 37''
20 o 43'15. 72''
Luki i Myres (Woodland
combined with mixed rocky
42 o25'56. 79''
20 o 42'13. 56''
ZHUSHI F. N., et al.
Trakia Journal of Sciences, Vol. 15, № 2,2017 103
Table 2. List of the butterfly species of the family Nymphalidae recorded in the studied area, the
localities of the record (according to the numbers in the Map of localities) and their IUCN status
Table 3. Species richness (S), number of specimens–abundance (N),Shannon-Wiener diversity index
(H') and Evenness–E, for each sampling locality
Locality where the species
according to IUCN
Arethusana arethusa (Denis&Schiffermüller,
Issoria lathonia (Linnaeus,1758)
Boloria dia (Linnaeus,1767)
Brenthis hecate (Denis & Schiffermüller,1775)
Brenthis daphne (Denis & Schiffermüller,1775)
Agalis urticae (Linnaeus,1758)
Argynis niobe (Linnaeus,1758)
Aglais io (Linnaeus,1758)
Argynnis pahia (Linnaeus,1758)
Argynnis aglaja (Linnaeus,1758)
Coenonympha pamphilus (Linnaeus,1758)
Vanessa atalanta (Linnaeus,1758)
Vanessa cardui (Linnaeus,1758)
Polygonia c- album (Linnaeus,1758)
Chazara briseis (Linnaeus, 1764)
Melitaea triva (Denis & Schiffermüller,1775)
Melitaea cinixia (Linnaeus,1758)
Melitaea didyma (Esper, 1778)
Melitaea athalia (Rottemburg, 1775)
Melitaea phoebe (Denis & Schiffermüller,1775)
Melanargia galathea (Linnaeus,1758)
Melanargia larissa (Geyer,1828)
Melanargia russiae (Esper,1783)
Ceononympha arcania (Linnaeus,1761)
Boloria euphrosyne (Linnaeus,1758)
Maniola jurtina (Linnaeus,1758)
Hipparchia fagi (Scopoli,1763)
Hipparchia volgensis (Mazochin - Porshnjakov,
Hipparchia fatua (Freyer, 1844)
Hipparchia syriaca (Staudinger, 1871)
Hipparchia statilinus ( Hufnagel, 1766)
Hyponephele lupines (Costa,1776)
Kirinia roxelana (Cramer, 1777)
Limenitis reducta (Staudinger, 1901)
Lasiommata megera (Linnaeus,1767)
diversity index- H'
Evenness - E
ZHUSHI F. N., et al.
104 Trakia Journal of Sciences, Vol. 15, № 2,2017
Table 4. Sörensen’s similarity index-So
Table 5. Number of Nymphalidae species recorded in some of the mountain areas in Republic of
As shown in Table 2 in the researched area 35
species of the Nymphalidae butterflies have
been recorded, which represents a fairly
prosperous diversity for this region. 19 species
were present in all localities of the
research,whereas 2 species were recorded only
in one of the localities. In this research the
species Melanargia russiae (ESPER, 1783)
was recorded for the first time in Kosovo.
Melanargia russiae is recorded in June and
July in several habitats throughout the village
where its caterpillar live on various gramineae
plants of the family Poaceae. This species is
also reported in the neighboring countries of
Kosovo. According to the earlier records (8),
in Albania Melanargia russiae was found only
in the Tomorri Mountain, but the most recent
data on the butterflies of Albania (9) have
shown that Melanargia russiae is fairly
widespread and recorded in eight (8)
observation locations on the territory of
It is worth noting the large presence of
Hipparchia volgensis (Mazochin -
Porshnjakov, 1952), an European endemic
species, during the month of June in the
territory of Shkoza in dry and hot areas,
habitats of deciduous forests, in arid hills areas
and different rock slopes and in the compound
silicate soils in some of the surveyed localities.
(Table 2) This species is presented with a large
number of specimens, thus in a numerically
large population. According the data from the
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2016)
this species is native in Bulgaria, Greece, FYR
Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, the Russian
Federation and Turkey. Its appearance varies at
different altitudes from 600 to 1.500 m,
sometimes 2.500 m. According to the
literature (7) this species has spread in Albania
too. In Kosovo this species was earlier reported
in the Pashtrik Mountain (5) as Hipparchia
delattini (Kudrna, 1975).
Regarding the species richness, all the
surveyed localities hosted more than 50% of
species. However the richest were localities 2
and 10 with 27 species out of recorded
35.These two localities have also the highest
value of Shannon –Wiener diversity index,
H'=4.56, respectively 4.58,indicating the high
species diversity in a sample. The quantitative
(numerically) distribution of individuals
among species, evenness E index has a high
value ranging from 0.93 to 0.97 in all surveyed
localities, indicating that relatively equal
numbers of individuals belong to each species.
In respect to abundance N, the highest number
of specimens, total 160, is recorded in the
locality 1, whereas the poorest was in locality
6 with only 94. (Table 3)
Based on the values of Sörensen’s similarity
index-So (Table 4) it can be seen that all the
localities in our survey share almost 80 % of
species. The highest similarity in species
composition was registered between the
localities 1 and 2, So= 94%, with 25 shared
species. The lowest similarity, 76% was
between localities 1 and 8 wich 17 shared
species. The difference in species composition
between these two localities can be justified
ZHUSHI F. N., et al.
Trakia Journal of Sciences, Vol. 15, № 2,2017 105
as the result of different habitat types in these
two localities. (Table 1)
Based on the European Red List of Butterflies
(10) from 35 species recorded in our research,
29 species belong to the category LC (Least
Concern), three other species: Hipparchia fagi,
Hipparchia statilinus and Chazara briseis
belonging to the category NT (Near
threatened). In a research conducted in 2011 in
the same area total of 44 butterflies species
were recorded, 22 of them from the family
Nymphalidae. It is worth mentioning that
during that time the field visits have not been
on regular basis, which can justify the small
number of species encountered in comparison
with this research. A year later a big part of
this massif was burned, and then, four years
later, the secondary succession took place,
where a number of pioneer species appeared. It
remains to be discussed the question of
whether the largest number of butterflies
species in this research is the result of more
frequent field visits or is it because of the
change of the vegetation as a result of
secondary succession, four years after the
wildfire in this part of the mountain. However,
given the fact that the family Nymphalidae is
the most widespread family of butterflies in
Europe, (10) it turns out that this family is also
pretty widespread in our country. Comparing
the number of 35 Nymphalidae species
recorded in our research with the number of
species from previous research in territory of
the Republic of Kosovo (Table 2), it is very
close with Pashtrik Mountain (5) where 38
species were found. This is expected due to
very similar geologic structure and climate
conditions of these two mountains. The richest
butterfly fauna of Nymphalidae family,
composed from 69 species was recorded from
National Park “Bjeshket e Nemuna”(4) located
in the western part of Kosovo. A pretty high
number of Nymphalidae species-65, was also
registered in both sited of National Park Sharri
that lies on the border between Kosovo and
As a result of this research, we came to the
conclusion that thanks to bio-geological,
geographic and climatic characteristics of the
researched area, Shkoza massif presents a rich
diversity of the fauna of butterflies. The
recorded Nymphalidae species in this area
constitutes approximately 14% of the number
of European Nymphalidae species and more
than 50% of species recorded in our
country.However, to know fully the butterfly
diversity in this mountain massif, the research
should be expanded throughout its length, with
more attention to be given to dry, open rocky
habitats where the presence of some other
species may be expected.
Furthermore, research should be repeated in
areas previously surveyed in order to follow
the changes in the diversity of butterfly fauna,
considering the long time that has elapsed and
the changes that have swept the country over
the past two decades.
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106 Trakia Journal of Sciences, Vol. 15, № 2,2017