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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*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
July 25, 2015 dendroica5 Hampshire County, Massachusetts, United States July 27, 2015 Details
July 08, 2015 jvkopple2 Kalkaska County, Michigan, United States July 24, 2015 Details
May 28, 2015 rocksnstars Oxford County, Maine, United States July 22, 2015 Details
July 14, 2015 Naomeri Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States July 21, 2015 Details
July 15, 2015 jani Manitoba, Canada July 21, 2015 Details
July 01, 2015 shagford Aitkin County, Minnesota, United States July 21, 2015 Details
September 25, 2014 mellielong Lincoln County, West Virginia, United States July 19, 2015 Details
July 03, 2015 Cherylee Black Ontario, Canada July 19, 2015 Details
July 03, 2015 Allen Belden Powhatan County, Virginia, United States July 17, 2015 Details
July 10, 2015 bkruse1950 Cook County, Illinois, United States July 16, 2015 Details
July 08, 2015 aarongunnar Dunn County, Wisconsin, United States July 13, 2015 Details
July 12, 2015 Tim Johnson Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States July 13, 2015 Details
July 04, 2015 treichard Cattaraugus County, New York, United States July 12, 2015 Details
July 08, 2015 treichard Ontario, Canada July 12, 2015 Details
June 19, 2015 sbruenjes Essex County, New Jersey, United States July 09, 2015 Details
June 22, 2015 Jenmg012 Warren County, New Jersey, United States July 09, 2015 Details
July 03, 2015 flutterby1 Lee County, Illinois, United States July 07, 2015 Details
June 28, 2015 Doug Bruce Campbell County, Tennessee, United States July 07, 2015 Details
April 11, 2015 jpviolette Somerset County, New Jersey, United States July 01, 2015 Details
June 26, 2015 Kzfisherman Lake County, Illinois, United States June 30, 2015 Details
June 16, 2015 Bob Oliver Ingham County, Michigan, United States June 29, 2015 Details
June 27, 2015 Cherylee Black Ontario, Canada June 28, 2015 Details
June 25, 2015 Cherylee Black Ontario, Canada June 26, 2015 Details
June 09, 2015 sh11 Ontario, Canada June 22, 2015 Details
June 10, 2015 sh11 Ontario, Canada June 22, 2015 Details
June 19, 2015 cblazo Franklin County, Pennsylvania, United States June 20, 2015 Details
June 02, 2015 Jonathan Clark Catahoula Parish, Louisiana, United States June 20, 2015 Details
June 17, 2015 Emarie009 Iowa County, Wisconsin, United States June 19, 2015 Details
June 17, 2015 Cherylee Black Ontario, Canada June 18, 2015 Details
June 12, 2015 rowley Wayne County, New York, United States June 16, 2015 Details
June 14, 2015 gardeninacity Cook County, Illinois, United States June 15, 2015 Details
June 13, 2015 Jarchibold Saratoga County, New York, United States June 14, 2015 Details
April 15, 2015 monikawood Steuben County, New York, United States June 09, 2015 Details
March 31, 2015 polson123 Sampson County, North Carolina, United States June 07, 2015 Details
June 06, 2015 Doug Bruce Roane County, Tennessee, United States June 07, 2015 Details
June 04, 2015 sh11 Ontario, Canada June 06, 2015 Details
June 04, 2015 sh11 Ontario, Canada June 06, 2015 Details
May 31, 2015 digginflowers Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, United States June 05, 2015 Details
May 14, 2015 sh11 Ontario, Canada June 05, 2015 Details
May 29, 2015 quick3beers Hamilton County, Ohio, United States June 05, 2015 Details
May 30, 2015 u4sales Michigan, United States May 31, 2015 Details
May 29, 2015 Cherylee Black Ontario, Canada May 30, 2015 Details
May 16, 2015 Doug Bruce Knox County, Tennessee, United States May 17, 2015 Details
May 12, 2015 CA Ivy Sebastian County, Arkansas, United States May 12, 2015 Details
May 10, 2015 gunhilda Payne County, Oklahoma, United States May 10, 2015 Details
May 06, 2015 Cherylee Black Ontario, Canada May 08, 2015 Details
May 03, 2015 tomfishburn Cuyahoga County, Ohio, United States May 05, 2015 Details
April 19, 2015 Cherylee Black Ontario, Canada April 25, 2015 Details
April 16, 2015 PaulT Bucks County, Pennsylvania, United States April 19, 2015 Details
April 15, 2015 a-o Tompkins County, New York, United States April 18, 2015 Details