A Southern Comma

There’s a butterfly in front of me and I know what it is: it’s a Comma. I’ve seen it before, slurping on rotting Sloes in the UK:

Always a Comma and never a full stop

It has a distinctive outline to its wings and, when you look at the underside, there’s the small white comma-shaped mark which gives it its name.

This one just doesn’t look right though. I’m in Italy and everything I think is normal is subtly different. It’s far too light coloured:

Southern Comma - Matera - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

Apparently it’s a Southern Comma, Polygonia egea and not the Comma I’ve seen in the UK, which is Polygonia c-album.

Southern Comma - Matera - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

It loves these nectar-rich Valerian flowers:

Southern Comma - Matera - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

What a beautiful and fascinating insect to watch.

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