Keywords |
  • Zoology


Comma (Linnaeus, 1758) - Polygonia c-album

  • Order: Lepidoptera
  • Family: Nymphalidae
  • Subfamily: Nymphalinae
  • Genus: Polygonia
  • Flight period: May to August
  • Living environment: gardens, parks, wasteland


This butterfly is very common and quite abundant in Europe, especially in France where it is found at altitudes of up to 2,000 metres. Number of generations per year: 2.


Wingspan: 45-50 mm.

Appearance: the upper wings are an orange tone with many brown patches. The shape of the wings is particularly characterised by its ragged edge, with a C-shaped white mark in the middle of the hind wings, on the underside. The underside of the wings can be a tawny (first generation) or darker (second generation).

On peut voir ici la tache blanche caractéristique du Robert-le-diable.
Shown here is the characteristic white marking of the comma. © Benjamin Bergerot


Green, round and ribbed, the eggs are laid, individually or in groups, on the upper side of the leaves of the host plant.


Size: 35 mm during the last stage.

Appearance: the head is black with two protuberances on top. The body is brown with a dorsal plate that covers the last two thirds of the caterpillar. Points on this plate are white, while those closer to the head are orange.

Host plants: elm, nettle, hop.


Brown and prickly, with a silvery-white patch, it is attached, head down, by a hooked appendage, the cremaster.

Possible confusion

In the Mediterranean region this species may be confused with the southern comma. It can be easily identified by the white "C" visible on the underside of the back wings, which is an "L" on southern commas.

Acknowledgements to Benjamin Bergerot

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Polygonia c-album. © Benjamin Bergerot Polygonia c-album. © Benjamin Bergerot

Comma - 3 Photos


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