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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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
May 20, 2016 Chet Gottfried Centre County, Pennsylvania, United States May 24, 2016 Details
March 28, 2016 Larry Smith Ramsey County, Minnesota, United States May 20, 2016 Details
April 29, 2016 commentator Ontario, Canada May 10, 2016 Details
June 19, 2015 sh11 Ontario, Canada May 06, 2016 Details
July 26, 2015 sh11 Ontario, Canada May 06, 2016 Details
August 24, 2015 sh11 Ontario, Canada April 28, 2016 Details
April 24, 2016 trinectes Prince Georges County, Maryland, United States April 27, 2016 Details
April 23, 2016 Doug Bruce Morgan County, Tennessee, United States April 26, 2016 Details
April 26, 2016 Mike Dillon Texas, Marion County, United States April 26, 2016 Details
April 24, 2016 stephen stedman Scott County, Tennessee, United States April 25, 2016 Details
April 16, 2016 aarongunnar Jefferson County, Wisconsin, United States April 19, 2016 Details
April 17, 2016 Doug Bruce Lincoln County, Tennessee, United States April 19, 2016 Details
April 17, 2016 monikawood Steuben County, New York, United States April 17, 2016 Details
April 17, 2016 soluslupus13 Ontario, Canada April 17, 2016 Details
April 02, 2016 ncrosbyrd Rockdale County, Georgia, United States April 16, 2016 Details
April 16, 2016 stephen stedman Lincoln County, Tennessee, United States April 16, 2016 Details
April 12, 2016 ButterBelle Putnam County, Tennessee, United States April 13, 2016 Details
April 03, 2016 aarongunnar Jefferson County, Wisconsin, United States April 05, 2016 Details
April 03, 2016 aarongunnar Dane County, Wisconsin, United States April 05, 2016 Details
March 24, 2016 digginflowers Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, United States April 04, 2016 Details
March 30, 2016 Karen Adams Franklin County, Ohio, United States March 31, 2016 Details
March 17, 2016 SpadGuy Rockingham County, Virginia, United States March 30, 2016 Details
March 12, 2016 tjrickert Mercer County, Pennsylvania, United States March 23, 2016 Details
March 19, 2016 CA Ivy Sebastian County, Arkansas, United States March 19, 2016 Details
March 17, 2016 hiker96 Leavenworth County, Kansas, United States March 17, 2016 Details
March 10, 2016 majalis Kings County, New York, United States March 16, 2016 Details
March 16, 2016 Jim Klingler Nemaha County, Kansas, United States March 16, 2016 Details
March 13, 2016 CA Ivy Sebastian County, Arkansas, United States March 13, 2016 Details
March 08, 2016 SkrentnyJeff Cook County, Illinois, United States March 08, 2016 Details
October 06, 2015 purplechickadee Passaic County, New Jersey, United States February 29, 2016 Details
February 28, 2016 Deb Humiston Will County, Illinois, United States February 28, 2016 Details
July 21, 2015 SkrentnyJeff Cook County, Illinois, United States February 20, 2016 Details
October 01, 2014 SkrentnyJeff Cook County, Illinois, United States February 20, 2016 Details
August 22, 2015 SkrentnyJeff Putnam County, Illinois, United States February 20, 2016 Details
August 08, 2015 BeckieP Hartford County, Connecticut, United States February 11, 2016 Details
July 03, 2015 dpgbfly1 Kanabec County, Minnesota, United States January 28, 2016 Details
July 07, 2015 dpgbfly1 Mille Lacs County, Minnesota, United States January 28, 2016 Details
July 04, 2009 Ilse Gebhard Kalamazoo County, Michigan, United States January 19, 2016 Details
May 21, 2010 AJ Trently Decatur County, Tennessee, United States January 01, 2016 Details
July 10, 2015 J_Martineau Chisago County, Minnesota, United States December 17, 2015 Details
August 24, 2011 Corey1487 Quebec, Canada December 09, 2015 Details
October 21, 2015 H Hooper Greene County, Virginia, United States November 14, 2015 Details
November 08, 2015 Paul Tavares Ontario, Canada November 10, 2015 Details
November 04, 2015 aarongunnar Walworth County, Wisconsin, United States November 06, 2015 Details
June 06, 2015 adormady Ontario, Canada October 23, 2015 Details
October 19, 2015 Beverly Carter Baxter County, Arkansas, United States October 23, 2015 Details
October 15, 2015 Shane Miller Beaver County, Pennsylvania, United States October 18, 2015 Details
October 15, 2015 joep01 Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States October 16, 2015 Details
October 14, 2015 stephen stedman Crockett County, Tennessee, United States October 14, 2015 Details
October 13, 2015 stephen stedman Franklin County, Tennessee, United States October 13, 2015 Details