Comma Polygonia c-album

The Comma is a medium-sized orange and brown 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 unmistakeable: 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.

Common name


Species name

Polygonia c-album

When to see in Scotland

January – December

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