Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Butterflies ~ 7

I saw another butterfly today. It's the first time I've seen one of these this year actually, and I suspect will be almost the last! The sun was shining, and I think it encouraged this one out to feed perhaps for the last time this year :D! It's sitting on my dying pumpkin leaves (more of that in the next post...) and only gave me time for one quick shot. I waited for a while in hope it would return, so I could get a better one, but it chose not to :(

Polygonia c-album(Linnaeus, 1758)

Family: Nymphalidae
UK Status: Resident 

wingspanprinter friendly version
Eggs are laid singly on the uppermost leaves and the caterpillars usually hatch after about 15 days. The favored foodplant in the past was Hops but a decline in village breweries has caused a move towards nettle (usually growing in shaded positions) as the favored foodplant although Elm is often used as well.

The larvae of the Comma are particularly attractive at close quarters although from a distance resemble a bird dropping.

Pupation almost always takes place on the foodplant.

Butterflies of the summer brood appearing around May/June are deep orange and are known as form hutchinsoni. Later broods and those overwintering as Adults are more usually deeper brown above while their underwing is either a beautiful mix of blues greys and browns or the more usual orange/brown.

The Comma is presently a relatively common butterfly but up until the 1940's the Comma was only regularly seen on the Welsh borders.

Larval Food Plants
The larvae feed on Common Nettle (Urtica dioica) Hops () and English Elm ().

Taken from:

All in all I am very pleased this year to have been able to photograph the majority of Britain's top 10 butterflies. I have seen more, but not always had my camera to hand at the right moment. I'd have liked to have seen a Red Admiral, but haven't. I know I've seen a 'Painted Lady' but not settling long enough for me to grab my camera and shoot :D

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