Carefree commas!

This month (July), we have seen the appearance of many bright orange comma butterflies; the so-called, hutchinsoni form of Polygonia c-album. These lovely orange-coloured butterflies are the first brood to emerge, and are much paler – no so dark – than those that appear later in the summer. Their colours and markings are bright and…

Butterflies and climate change

We have heard a great deal about climate change in the last year, with protests by Extinction Rebellion activists in London and the incredible teenager, Greta Thunberg reading the riot act to delegates at the UN, condemming world leaders for failing to act on global warming. And last, but not least, the terrible bush fires…

Distractive markings on lepidopteran wings

The Comma (Polygonia c–album) is a familiar butterfly, seen throughout most of England and Wales in the summer. Most people will have looked at the white ‘comma’ mark on the underside of the hindwing, and many will have wondered what is it for? One, slightly controversial theory, is that it is a ‘distractive’ marking; something…

A comma, not a full stop!

The Comma (Polygonia c-album) is a very distinctive butterfly with an interesting history in the UK.  It was very common and widespread in the early nineteenth century, but then its range contacted and it became rare, so that by the 1920’s it was hardly ever seen in Britain.  From the 1940’s however, numbers started to pick…