Butterflies of Scotland
- Comma (Polygonia c-album)


Although widespread in England and Wales, the Comma became extinct in Scotland but is slowly returning. Initially it was thought that these were just migrants from Northern England, but as numbers sighted have increased in recent years it appears that the Comma is breeding and hibernating over winter.

The Comma's scalloped, ragged wings with black marks on an orange-black background make it a most attractive butterfly. The underside of the wings, however, are dark brown, with the distinctive, white, comma-shaped marking standing out (see graphic on the right). The brown underside provides camouflage for hibernating as the wings look like dried leaves when folded.

The Comma is usually found on the edge of woodland from May to September. In England there are two broods each summer, the first in July with eggs laid mainly on stinging nettles. Male Commas are very territorial so if you see two Commas, it is likely that they will be male and female (with the male slightly smaller than its mate).


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