Comma (Polygonia c-album)
Species

Taken at Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon, on July 28th 2013.
(1/100th sec at f11. Approx 2.5x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Underside. Taken at Otmoor, Oxon, on August 26th 2013.
(1/200th sec at f11. Approx 2.5x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Underside of form hutchinsoni. Taken at Watlington Hill, Oxon., on 7th July 2013.
(1/80th sec at f11. Approx 2.5x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Larva. Taken at Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon., on August 10th 2013.
(1/50th sec at f11. Approx 2.5x lifesize. © David Hastings)

Description

Wing span: 52 - 64 mm

The Comma is one of a handful of species that is increasing its range in Britain, now being found right up to the Scottish border. This is remarkable turnaround in its fortunes, given that it was close to extinction in England in the second half of the 19th century. The reasons for its decline and subsequent recovery are not clear.

It is found throughout England and Wales, but is absent from most of Scotland and Ireland.

Commas are mostly found in woodland clearings and rides. They also visit gardens and orchards.

Adults emerge from hiberation in March, giving rise to the next generation which appears at the end of June and start of July. The majority of these have dark undersides and these go on to hibernate. However, the remainder have lighter undersides and brighter uppersides, and are known as the form hutchinsoni. This form goes on to breed and produce another generation which then overwinter. As a result, there is another peak emergence at the end of August and start of September.

The main larval foodplant is Common Nettle. Currants, Elms, Hop and Willows are also used.

Adults feed on Ivy flowers, and also ripe pears, apples and blackberries.

In spring males set up territories in woodland edges and glades, using a perch to look for females and drive away competing males.

This species is of Least Concern on the UK list.

Sightings

15-Jul-2018 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
15-Jul-2018 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
14-Jul-2018 : Watlington Hill, Oxon (2)
12-Jul-2018 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (5)
12-Jul-2018 : Parsonage Moor, Oxon (1)
11-Jul-2018 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
09-Jul-2018 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
07-Jul-2018 : Besselsleigh Wood, Oxon (3)
02-Jul-2018 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (1)
26-Jun-2018 : Leighton Moss, Lancashire (1)
18-Jun-2018 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (2)
22-May-2018 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon
18-May-2018 : Radley Lakes, Oxon (1)
17-May-2018 : Sandford Brake, Oxon (2)
15-May-2018 : Cholsey Marsh, Oxon (2)
14-May-2018 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
06-May-2018 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
21-Apr-2018 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (1)
19-Apr-2018 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (2)
18-Apr-2018 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
18-Apr-2018 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (3)
05-Apr-2018 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (2)

06-Nov-2017 : Highmoor, Oxon (1)
03-Oct-2017 : Otmoor, Oxon (3)
26-Sep-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
25-Sep-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
24-Sep-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
22-Sep-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (3)
16-Sep-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
15-Sep-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
14-Sep-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
13-Sep-2017 : Radley Lakes, Oxon (3)
13-Sep-2017 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (3)
12-Sep-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
12-Sep-2017 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2)
06-Sep-2017 : Folly Park, Faringdon, Oxon (3)
29-Aug-2017 : Lid's Down, Oxon (1)
12-Aug-2017 : West Walton, Norfolk (1)
06-Aug-2017 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (2)
03-Aug-2017 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
01-Aug-2017 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (1)
23-Jul-2017 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (3)
18-Jul-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
18-Jul-2017 : Fence Wood, Berks (2)
16-Jul-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
08-Jul-2017 : Bayworth, Oxon (4)
08-Jul-2017 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (18+)
06-Jul-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
02-Jul-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (9)
02-Jul-2017 : Fence Wood, Berks (9)
02-Jul-2017 : Silchester Common, Hants (2)
01-Jul-2017 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (2)
01-Jul-2017 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (7)
27-Jun-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
24-Jun-2017 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (4)
21-Jun-2017 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
18-Jun-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
18-Jun-2017 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (1)
18-Jun-2017 : Waterperry Wood, Oxon (2)
17-Jun-2017 : Standlake Common, Oxon (4)
15-Jun-2017 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (1)
13-Jun-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
11-Jun-2017 : Velebits National Park, Croatia
14-May-2017 : Whelford Pools, Glos (2)
07-May-2017 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (1)
02-May-2017 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1)
30-Mar-2017 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (2)
13-Mar-2017 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (4)
09-Mar-2017 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (3+)
04-Mar-2017 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
16-Feb-2017 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (2)

22-Sep-2016 : Marston Meadows, Oxon (1)
22-Sep-2016 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (2)
18-Sep-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (4)
11-Sep-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (25+)
07-Aug-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (3)
31-Jul-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
23-Jul-2016 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (1)
16-Jul-2016 : Crookham Common, Berks (1)
16-Jul-2016 : Silchester Common, Hants (2)
14-Jul-2016 : Lardon Chase, Berks (1)
11-Jul-2016 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (1)
11-Jul-2016 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (3)
09-Jul-2016 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (2)
07-Jul-2016 : Fermyn Wood, Northants (1)
28-Jun-2016 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
28-Jun-2016 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1)
08-May-2016 : Whelford Pools, Glos (1)
05-May-2016 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1)
17-Apr-2016 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (2)
05-Apr-2016 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (3)
03-Apr-2016 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (1)
25-Mar-2016 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)

27-Sep-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (2)
19-Sep-2015 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1)
19-Sep-2015 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
12-Sep-2015 : Radley Lakes, Oxon (1)
10-Sep-2015 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (1)
15-Aug-2015 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
09-Aug-2015 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
09-Aug-2015 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (1)
08-Aug-2015 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1)
02-Aug-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (7)
02-Aug-2015 : Bernwood Meadows, Bucks (1)
30-Jul-2015 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (1)
30-Jul-2015 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
24-Jul-2015 : nr Kirilova polyana, Bulgaria
23-Jul-2015 : Mesta River fishponds, Bulgaria
23-Jul-2015 : Pirin Mountains, Bulgaria
22-Jul-2015 : nr Lilyanovo, Bulgaria
21-Jul-2015 : nr Petrovo, Bulgaria
20-Jul-2015 : Kresna Gorge, Bulgaria
18-Jul-2015 : Silchester Common, Hants (1)
12-Jul-2015 : Parsonage Moor, Oxon (2)
11-Jul-2015 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (6)
11-Jul-2015 : The Holies, Berks (1)
10-Jul-2015 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
04-Jul-2015 : Otmoor, Oxon (3)
04-Jul-2015 : Calvert Jubilee, Oxon (2)
04-Jul-2015 : Charndon, Bucks (1)
04-Jul-2015 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (2)
03-Jul-2015 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (1)
03-Jul-2015 : Bernwood Forest, Bucks (2)
02-Jul-2015 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (2)
23-May-2015 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (2)
21-May-2015 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (1)
21-Apr-2015 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1)
18-Apr-2015 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (2)
14-Apr-2015 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
08-Apr-2015 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (2)
07-Apr-2015 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
06-Apr-2015 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1)
06-Apr-2015 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
10-Mar-2015 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)

01-Nov-2014 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
28-Sep-2014 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
27-Sep-2014 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (2)
21-Sep-2014 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (5)
14-Sep-2014 : Otmoor, Oxon (2)
04-Sep-2014 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (1)
31-Aug-2014 : Farmoor Reservoir, Oxon (2)
20-Jul-2014 : Otmoor, Oxon (2)
13-Jul-2014 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
12-Jul-2014 : Watlington Hill, Oxon (1)
12-Jul-2014 : Homefield Wood, Bucks (5)
11-Jul-2014 : Allotment, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
10-Jul-2014 : Marston Meadows, Oxon (3)
06-Jul-2014 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (3)
06-Jul-2014 : Aston Rowant NNR, Oxon (3)
28-Jun-2014 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (3)
24-Jun-2014 : Papaz Tchair, Bulgaria
24-Jun-2014 : nr Novo Hodzhovo, Bulgaria
24-Jun-2014 : Mesta River fishponds, Bulgaria
23-Jun-2014 : Trigrad Gorge, Bulgaria
18-Jun-2014 : nr Mirkovo, Bulgaria
01-Jun-2014 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1)
17-May-2014 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1)
12-May-2014 : Marston Meadows, Oxon (1)
21-Apr-2014 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1)
17-Apr-2014 : Whitecross Green Wood, Oxon (1)
13-Apr-2014 : Aston Upthorpe Downs, Oxon (1)
10-Apr-2014 : Marston Meadows, Oxon (1)
01-Apr-2014 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
30-Mar-2014 : Radley Lakes, Oxon (1)
30-Mar-2014 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
29-Mar-2014 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (1)
17-Mar-2014 : University Parks, Oxford, Oxon (2)
15-Mar-2014 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (2)
09-Mar-2014 : Otmoor, Oxon (1)
09-Mar-2014 : Garden, Abingdon, Oxon (3)
08-Mar-2014 : Dry Sandford Pit, Oxon (1)