Attributes of Polygonia comma

Eastern Comma
Polygonia comma (Harris, 1842)

Family: Nymphalidae
Subfamily: Nymphalinae
Identification: Small with short hindwing projections. Forewing above is brownish-orange with dark spots; one dark spot at center of bottom edge. Hindwing above has two patterns: summer form is mostly black, winter form is orange with black spots; both have a dark border containing pale spots. Underside is brown; hindwing with a central silver or white comma which is swollen at both ends.
Wing Span: 1 3/4 - 2 1/2 inches (4.5 - 6.4 cm).
Life History: Males perch on leaves or tree trunks to watch for females, flying aggressively to chase other insects or even birds. Eggs are laid singly or in stacks under host plant leaves or stems. Caterpillars are usually solitary and feed on leaves at night. Older caterpillars make daytime shelters by pulling leaf edges together with silk. Winter form adults hibernate, some first migrating to the south.
Flight: Overwintered adults fly and lay eggs in the spring until the end of April. The summer form emerges and flies from May-September, laying eggs that develop into the winter form. These adults appear in September or October and soon seek shelter in which to overwinter.
Caterpillar Hosts: All members of the elm and nettle families including American elm (Ulmus americana), hops (Humulus), nettle (Urtica), false nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica), and wood nettle (Laportea canadensis).
Adult Food: Rotting fruit and tree sap.
Habitat: Deciduous woodlands; woods near rivers, marshes, swamps, and other water sources.
Range: Eastern half of the United States east of the Rocky Mountains from southern Canada to central Texas and the Gulf Coast.
Conservation: Not usually required.
NCGR: G5 - Demonstrably secure globally, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.
Management Needs: None reported.
Taxonomy Notes:

Images of Polygonia comma

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Polygonia comma - Polygonia_comma.jpg

Polygonia comma - Polygonia_comma.jpg


The map below displays all BAMONA data for this species and has three different data layers:
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There are also three base layers: 1. Satellite    2. Normal   3. Hybrid

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*The orange dots on the map provide access to information about the 400 most recently verified sightings of this species. Sometimes, there are several records at the same location. Use the table view to access these records.

By default, the fifty most recently verified sightings are below. Sort by Observation Date to see the most recent sightings, or filter the sightings by region to get a regional list.

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Observation Date Submitter Region Verified Datesort icon
April 11, 2014 sdbarker7277 Bledsoe County, Tennessee, United States April 22, 2014 Details
March 02, 2014 vldeloach Cherokee County, Georgia, United States April 21, 2014 Details
March 09, 2014 vldeloach Cherokee County, Georgia, United States April 21, 2014 Details
April 12, 2014 hmclin York County, Pennsylvania, United States April 15, 2014 Details
April 12, 2014 mrcnaturally Westchester County, New York, United States April 12, 2014 Details
April 01, 2014 miller.je2 Fauquier County, Virginia, United States April 07, 2014 Details
April 25, 2013 John Many Wings Frederick County, Maryland, United States April 07, 2014 Details
April 06, 2014 Doug Bruce Hamblen County, Tennessee, United States April 07, 2014 Details
August 04, 2013 Martha Veasey Sawyer Sevier County, Tennessee, United States April 06, 2014 Details
April 03, 2014 sschott Hamilton County, Tennessee, United States April 05, 2014 Details
May 09, 2013 curtis.lehman Marshall County, West Virginia, United States March 26, 2014 Details
March 21, 2014 LindaWest Cocke County, Tennessee, United States March 22, 2014 Details
October 15, 2010 Brian Taber James City County, Virginia, United States March 16, 2014 Details
March 15, 2014 Melinda Fawver Meigs County, Tennessee, United States March 16, 2014 Details
March 09, 2014 Doug Bruce Campbell County, Tennessee, United States March 15, 2014 Details
November 02, 2013 cblue Georgia, United States, Whitfield County March 04, 2014 Details
August 22, 2013 Sean Werle Chittenden County, Vermont, United States February 11, 2014 Details
June 08, 2013 cmp1571 Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States February 11, 2014 Details
July 24, 2013 soluslupus13 Ontario, Canada February 11, 2014 Details
July 21, 2013 soluslupus13 Ontario, Canada February 09, 2014 Details
July 24, 2012 Rick Henle Carroll County, New Hampshire, United States February 06, 2014 Details
August 16, 2012 fallerachick Connecticut, United States February 06, 2014 Details
September 19, 2013 soluslupus13 Ontario, Canada February 06, 2014 Details
July 01, 2012 Rick Henle Carroll County, New Hampshire, United States February 05, 2014 Details
September 05, 2013 soluslupus13 Ontario, Canada February 04, 2014 Details
April 15, 2013 razer9672 Mercer County, New Jersey, United States January 29, 2014 Details
August 10, 2011 Lisa J. Cihlar Green County, Wisconsin, United States January 19, 2014 Details
August 22, 2011 Kari Price County, Wisconsin, United States January 19, 2014 Details
April 16, 2012 hdad58 Coos County, New Hampshire, United States January 19, 2014 Details
November 06, 2013 CMcCarthy Essex County, Massachusetts, United States January 17, 2014 Details
November 11, 2013 Dave Fairall Alleghany County, North Carolina, United States November 17, 2013 Details
September 03, 2013 Dave Kinney Wexford County, Michigan, United States November 15, 2013 Details
August 12, 2013 K Stilwell Giles County, Virginia, United States November 14, 2013 Details
October 26, 2013 DC Ecology Student Fauquier County, Virginia, United States November 14, 2013 Details
November 07, 2013 CA Ivy Sebastian County, Arkansas, United States November 07, 2013 Details
July 14, 2013 Latenight Cameron County, Pennsylvania, United States November 03, 2013 Details
October 20, 2013 treichard Anne Arundel County, Maryland, United States November 02, 2013 Details
October 20, 2013 treichard Anne Arundel County, Maryland, United States November 02, 2013 Details
October 20, 2013 treichard Anne Arundel County, Maryland, United States November 02, 2013 Details
June 01, 2013 njrediker Swain County, North Carolina, United States October 18, 2013 Details
October 13, 2013 VidyaVenkat (Winter form) New Castle County, Delaware, United States October 17, 2013 Details
October 09, 2013 Doug Bruce Haywood County, Tennessee, United States October 12, 2013 Details
October 12, 2013 stephen stedman Weakley County, Tennessee, United States October 12, 2013 Details
October 08, 2013 stephen stedman Haywood County, Tennessee, United States October 08, 2013 Details
October 08, 2013 stephen stedman Hardeman County, Tennessee, United States October 08, 2013 Details
October 07, 2013 stephen stedman Tipton County, Tennessee, United States October 07, 2013 Details
September 22, 2013 treichard Prince Georges County, Maryland, United States September 26, 2013 Details
September 21, 2013 treichard Anne Arundel County, Maryland, United States September 25, 2013 Details
September 15, 2013 Doug Bruce Greene County, Tennessee, United States September 23, 2013 Details
September 21, 2013 Jeff Hansen Shawnee County, Kansas, United States September 23, 2013 Details