I photographed this lovely comma butterfly at Parke a couple of days ago. Commas are pretty common butterflies in the woodlands and meadows of Dartmoor. This individual has hibernated overwinter and is now active on the wing enjoying the sunshine. You can see that its wings are a little worn at the edges.
The food plant for the comma is predominantly the common nettle – the eggs laid on the leaves resemble bird droppings as a means of cryptic camoflage.
Last century the comma declined considerably and since then has made a dramatic recovery. It is a flexible species now which is able to respond quickly to favourable conditions and expand quickly.
So far this year I have now seen 7 species of butterfly (red admiral, peacock, orange tip, brimstone, speckled wood, small tortoisehell and the comma). In the next few days pearl bordered fritillaries should start emerging.