|Comma (Polygonia c-album)|
Basking on the path at Nosterfield
Now, you will know that I did a moth trapping 'exercise' there at that particular Open Day. But today's post isn't one I found in the trap, it wasn't even a moth. But what it was, was a butterfly, and a very pretty one at that. It's the cracking Comma butterfly.
So, here are the facts:
- Firstly, when I looked on Google to find some fact sites, I found out its Latin name is 'Polygonia c-album'. I've not seen a Latin name like this before!
|It hung around for quite a while|
- I have seen on UK Butterflies that their species is 'c-album', their sub-species is 'c-album' and their form is 'c-album'.
- This is incredibly confusing and I cannot figure out what it means. I have been all over the Internet and I haven't been able to work it out. If anybody knows what, please 'tweet' me!
- It seems that they are not a rarity at all. I looked at a map of sightings on NatureSpot and they have been seen almost everywhere in the UK, apart from Ireland.
- They are found widely and commonly in the South of Britain and they get less common the further North that you go.
- A couple must have got lost along the way and ended up at the Isle of Man and the Shetlands & Orkneys.
|It looked like it was eating something in the gravel|
- Only around a century ago, these lovely butterflies were almost extinct in Britain. Nobody knows why the decline happened but Southern UK sightings were reduced to just one or two.
- It wasn't until about the 1930's that numbers started to increase. Today, the Comma is a familiar sight in Britain. This could be due to climate change and that the UK is a better environment for them now.
- I have talked about their Scientific name a lot but nothing about the English name. Well, it's probably from the markings that there is on the underside of their wings that look sort of like commas. ,,,
- They have a wingspan of about 4 and a half cm while the caterpillar is only about 3.5 cm long!
|Trying to look like a leaf on the path?|
- Their caterpillars like nettles and hops to eat and the adults feed on flowers like thistle and knapweed. In the Autumn they will feed on ripe blackberries and fallen fruits.
- You may see these butterflies at any point in the year, they sometimes wake up on warm winter days, but they properly emerge from hibernation in March.
- When they rest on a tree with their wings closed the 'tatty' edges of the wings help to disguise them as a leaf.
Here are a few links to some more information:
Hope you enjoyed,