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
October 17, 2014 stephen stedman Putnam County, Tennessee, United States October 18, 2014 Details
October 12, 2014 msh14221 Ontario, Canada October 13, 2014 Details
September 25, 2014 mellielong Lincoln County, West Virginia, United States October 03, 2014 Details
October 01, 2014 rconnorsphoto Houston County, Tennessee, United States October 02, 2014 Details
October 02, 2014 stephen stedman Grundy County, Tennessee, United States October 02, 2014 Details
September 27, 2014 billy.yung New York County, New York, United States September 30, 2014 Details
September 29, 2014 jim8435wisc Lafayette County, Wisconsin, United States September 30, 2014 Details
August 03, 2014 Lois Stacey Georgia, Screven County, United States September 12, 2014 Details
August 28, 2014 Eelhsa Ontario, Canada September 10, 2014 Details
September 07, 2014 BeaLaporte Ontario, Canada September 10, 2014 Details
July 11, 2014 b.cn.u Ontario, Canada September 08, 2014 Details
September 03, 2014 stephen stedman Lake County, Tennessee, United States September 08, 2014 Details
September 03, 2014 stephen stedman Crockett County, Tennessee, United States September 08, 2014 Details
June 14, 2014 abbycronin Suffolk County, New York, United States September 07, 2014 Details
August 13, 2014 rconnorsphoto Hickman County, Tennessee, United States September 02, 2014 Details
July 16, 2014 satchmo0802 Cherokee County, North Carolina, United States August 27, 2014 Details
August 21, 2014 ktaylo Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, United States August 26, 2014 Details
August 19, 2014 Jarchibold Saratoga County, New York, United States August 20, 2014 Details
September 19, 2013 rosenthal.k Fairfax County, Virginia, United States August 16, 2014 Details
August 21, 2013 rosenthal.k Fairfax County, Virginia, United States August 16, 2014 Details
August 12, 2014 rogerashton Erie County, Ohio, United States August 14, 2014 Details
August 01, 2014 BeausMom Delaware County, Pennsylvania, United States August 10, 2014 Details
August 08, 2014 Jennifer Jilks Ontario, Canada August 09, 2014 Details
July 24, 2014 Paul Tavares Ontario, Canada August 08, 2014 Details
August 03, 2014 Doug Bruce Moore County, Tennessee, United States August 05, 2014 Details
June 14, 2014 cblazo Franklin County, Pennsylvania, United States July 31, 2014 Details
July 27, 2014 juliereid Ontario, Canada July 28, 2014 Details
July 27, 2014 juliereid Ontario, Canada July 28, 2014 Details
May 21, 2014 stomlins701 Sevier County, Tennessee, United States July 27, 2014 Details
May 28, 2014 stomlins701 Cocke County, Tennessee, United States July 27, 2014 Details
July 20, 2014 Mapper Johnson County, Illinois, United States July 22, 2014 Details
June 30, 2014 patricia silvernail Jackson County, Georgia, United States July 21, 2014 Details
July 12, 2014 schmev24 Hampden County, Massachusetts, United States July 21, 2014 Details
July 20, 2014 Mapper Union County, Illinois, United States July 21, 2014 Details
May 13, 2014 SuperSpy Anne Arundel County, Maryland, United States July 20, 2014 Details
August 17, 2008 Jake a Bob Bradford County, Pennsylvania, United States July 20, 2014 Details
March 10, 2006 roseanna Pulaski County, Kentucky, United States July 18, 2014 Details
May 31, 2014 Rick Henle Carroll County, New Hampshire, United States July 17, 2014 Details
July 06, 2014 treichard Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, United States July 15, 2014 Details
July 05, 2014 treichard Sussex County, New Jersey, United States July 14, 2014 Details
July 01, 2014 jim8435wisc Columbia County, Wisconsin, United States July 12, 2014 Details
July 05, 2014 treichard Sussex County, New Jersey, United States July 12, 2014 Details
October 22, 2011 JMJaskula Jasper County, Indiana, United States July 09, 2014 Details
June 26, 2014 Peggy O Taylor County, Wisconsin, United States July 09, 2014 Details
April 22, 2013 julmast Elkhart County, Indiana, United States July 06, 2014 Details
March 15, 2014 jgrenshaw13 Brown County, Indiana, United States July 06, 2014 Details
July 05, 2014 mrcnaturally Westchester County, New York, United States July 06, 2014 Details
July 04, 2014 Cherylee Black Ontario, Canada July 05, 2014 Details
June 29, 2014 rfranklinb Berkshire County, Massachusetts, United States July 02, 2014 Details
June 27, 2014 pomarinejaeger Osceola County, Michigan, United States July 01, 2014 Details