The comma is a medium-sized orange and brown spotted butterfly. It is on the wing throughout the year, having several broods, and overwinters as an adult. The comma is a common and widespread butterfly of woodland edges, particularly during the spring and autumn. The caterpillars feed on common nettles, elms and willows.
The comma is unmistakable: ragged-shaped, orange wings with brown spots distinguish it from similar species. The caterpillars have brown and white flecks which make them look like bird-droppings and help to camouflage them.
- Wingspan: 5-6.4cm
Found across England and Wales, but only just spreading into southern Scotland
When to see
January – December
- Having suffered major declines, this was once a very rare butterfly restricted to the Welsh borders. However, in the past 30 years or so, the Comma has spread and become a common butterfly of woodland edges.
- Male commas are territorial and like to investigate anything that enters their territory before returning to the same perch to wait for a suitable mate