High Weald

comma_butterflyThe Comma, Polygonia c-album is a familiar visitor to gardens as well as woodlands and scrubland.

A particularly interesting and attractive species, it is a rich orange colour, and the only British butterfly with a naturally ragged wing edge. The white comma on the dark brown underside gives this butterfly its name.

Common and widely distributed across woodlands and scrub in the High Weald,  as elsewhere, this butterfly enjoyed a remarkable expansion between the world wars, perhaps due to a switch in the main larval foodplant (from Hop to Common Nettle).  

Open woodland and wood edges are the main habitats for both breeding and hibernation. Pre-hibernation individuals range more widely in search of nectar and rotting fruit, and can be seen in many habitats. The most widely used foodplant is Common Nettle. Other food plant species used include Hop, elms, currants, and willows.

Information on nature reserves where you may see Comma butterflies