Comma Polygonia c-album


Best time to see: Apr to end Sep

Key facts

Bright orange butterfly with jagged edges to its wings; at rest looking like a dead leaf.

Habitat: hedges, woods, mature gardens.

Common in appropriate habitat in England south of the Wash and in Wales.

Recognition

Bright orange with jagged edges to its wings; 5–6 cm wingspan

Butterflies hibernate in woodland, so often seen early along the woodland edge, usually in ones or twos; swift, gliding flight

Adults are on the wing March to April, then from July sometimes till November, these later broods hibernating over winter

Lifecycle

Green spherical eggs are laid on hop, nettle or elm leaves along woodland edges or sheltered hedges

Caterpillars resemble bird droppings and are active in May and from July to Aug, feeding on hop, nettle or elm leaves

Chrysalis, like an upside-down seahorse, hangs in deep vegetation

  • Main photo
  • underside
  • caterpillar

Photo © Laurie Forsyth

Photo © Ken King

Photo © David Corke