Polygonia comma – Eastern Comma

Caterpillar foods:  Nettles (Urtica, Boehmeria, Laportea), Elm, and Hops – also probably other members of the Urticaceae and Ulmaceae   (Bugguide)

Eastern Commas spend the winter as adults, so we see them very early in the spring and late in the fall.  They also have a summer generation which has much darker wings.  Like other early and late season butterflies, adults eat tree sap and rotting fruit rather than flower nectar.

6/25/2011   Eastern Comma (left), and Gray Comma (Polygonia progne) (right) are very similar from the top, but their underwings are distinctive.

eastern and gray comma 6-25-11 1



eastern comma 3-16-09



eastern comma 4-14-08



Eastern Comma 6-22-14 1


10/4/2003  on a rotten apple

eastern comma 10-4-03



eastern comma 4-16-09 1


7/6/2008   the dark summer form

eastern comma 7-6-08 1


8/30/2017  Larva found on Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica).  I reared 5 of the 9 or so larvae I found on the nettle plants outside our door.


8/29/2017  larva


9/2/2017  Prepupal larva


9/1/2017  Newly formed chrysalis


9/16/2017  Chrysalis ready to eclose


9/16/2017  newly emerged adult


9/16/2017  newly emerged adult


9/16/2017  adult being released