Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh.
Widespread in England and Wales, starting to colonise Scotland, and occasionally seen in Ireland. Ragged wing edges distinguish this orange and brown butterfly. Undersides are brown with a white mark shaped like a comma. Seen in gardens and woodlands.
Latin name: Polygonia c-album
Family group: Nymphalids
Countries: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland
The Comma is a fascinating butterfly. The scalloped edges and cryptic colouring of the wings conceal hibernating adults amongst dead leaves, while the larvae, flecked with brown and white markings, bear close resemblance to bird droppings.
The species has a flexible life cycle, which allows it to capitalize on favourable weather conditions. However, the most remarkable feature of the Comma has been its severe decline in the twentieth century and subsequent comeback. It is now widespread in southern Britain and its range is expanding northwards.
Information from Butterfly Conservation