Comma Polygonia c-album

Scientific Name: Polygonia c-album (Nymphalidae).

English Name: Comma.

French Name: Le Robert le Diable (='Robert the Devil'), le Gamma (='gamma').

5 Key Characters:
  • wings deeply scalloped along the edges.
  • upperside bright tawny orange (fauve) with black markings.
  • a small white 'C' shape on the underside of the hind wing.
  • flies very rapidly and often sits with wings open.
  • attracted to rotting corpses and sap oozing from tree trunks.
Lookalikes: None, because of the scallop edged wings, although if you only catch a glimpse in flight you could mistake for one of the other medium sized tawny species with black spots such as some of the Fritillaries.

Habitat: Woodland edges and clearing, hedgerows.

Flight Period: February-March-April-May-June-July-August-September-October-November.

Caterpillar: They have a splash of white on the back (to give the impression of being a bird dropping). Host plants Elms Ulmus glabra, U. minor; Hazle Nuts Corydellus avellana; Stinging Nettles Urtica dioica, Raspberries Rubus idaeus and Hops Humulus lupulus.

Status: Very common.

Photographed by Loire Valley Nature:

Note white 'C' on hind wing.

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