Comma (Polygonia c-album)

.... and in Manx that's Cammag

Passport crop

The Comma is the only British butterfly to have scalloped wings which can, at first sight, appear damaged. The ground colour is orange brown with dark brown markings. It gets its name from a small white comma shaped mark on the underside of the rear wing. It has a number of caterpillar foodplants including Stinging Nettle, Elms, Currants, Hop and Willows. The eggs are laid singly and the caterpillar is camouflaged in the late stages to look like a bird dropping.

The Comma is a very recent addition to the Manx list. Historically in Britain it occurred only in the southern half of England and suffered a massive decline in the early twentieth century from which is has staged a remarkable comeback to its former areas and beyond. As well as the Isle of Man it has also recently colonised Scotland for the first time and has been recorded from the east coast of Northern and Southern Ireland. The progeny of the first brood are produced in two distinct forms. One, known as hutchinsoni, has a brighter pale orange ground colour and breeds again to produce a second brood. The other form has the normal orange brown ground colour and does not produce a second brood. Overwinters as an adult butterfly.

On the wing late March to June and from late July to early October. Late September and October Commas are often found nectaring on Ivy.

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