Comma - Favourite Photo of 2017

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Comma - Favourite Photo of 2017

Postby Wurzel » Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:16 pm

Comma - Favourite Photo of 2017

Week 3 and onwards into the 'C's'...

Please could I ask that everyone waits until a topic has been opened by me for a particular species before posting photos? Of course our overseas members are very welcome to fill in the obvious gaps relating to rare UK migrants. As like last year details of locations, dates, times and circumstances would be welcome as would any accompanying stories and anecdotes or other observations of behaviour and interesting other points.

Have a goodun


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Re: Comma - Favourite Photo of 2017

Postby Padfield » Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:20 pm

I'll kick off with a picture taken somewhere near Geneva on 3rd June this year.


Summer always seems like a distant dream when it's over.

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Re: Comma - Favourite Photo of 2017

Postby bugboy » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:01 pm

One aim this year was to get a few decent underside shots:
Comma f. hutchinsoni female, Hadleigh Country Park.JPG

Comma f. hutchinsoni, Walthamstow Marshes.JPG

Comma female, Ivinghoe Beacon.JPG

Comma male f. hutchinsoni, Hadleigh Country Park.JPG

However, whilst flicking this years crop of Comma's I found this stunner from Bookham
Comma male f. hutchinsoni, Bookham Commons.JPG

Just imagine the excitement of coming across something like that 100 years ago when they were as scarce as rocking horse poo!
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Re: Comma - Favourite Photo of 2017

Postby MikeOxon » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:58 pm

It's hard to believe that this, now common species, was quite a rarity in the early part of the last century. It's now so familiar that I only paused to take 10 photos over the year. Most were of the uppersides of basking specimens but it seems proper to show the underside, with the mark that give the species its name.

My chosen photo was taken in March, when I like to visit my local reserve at Dry Sandford Pit to watch the new season unfold.

Dry Sandford Pit, Cothill, Oxon - 26th March 2017
Olympus E-M1 with 100-400mm lens - !/1000s@f/10 ISO640


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Re: Comma - Favourite Photo of 2017

Postby Chris Jackson » Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:18 am

This Comma Butterfly was seen on May 20th in the South of France - possibly form hutchinsoni ?
c-album18 f. hutchinsoni Parc des Bruyères 20May17 (1).JPG

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Re: Comma - Favourite Photo of 2017

Postby Goldie M » Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:45 pm

I took loads of shots of the Comma in the Garden this year , so it's hard to pick out a single one, so I've chosen a few :D
I took these shot's in July, Sept and October, most were taken after rain showers. Goldie :D
Comma 13th Oct (1).jpg
Back Garden 14th Oct
Back Garden 29th Sept
Comma 16th July.jpg
Took this one at Bossingham Kent 16th July

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Re: Comma - Favourite Photo of 2017

Postby IAC » Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:57 pm

The Comma, a very enigmatic and at times near impossible to find species up here in the Scottish Borders. It is very difficult to find out in the open and will stick to the canopy of a woodland edge venturing out for ground supplies very rarely. I have enjoyed hunting this Butterfly more than any other, and after a decade I have become better at anticipating its habits. In spring they will almost certainly be found at Sallow Catkins, but not any old Sallow...they apparently have favourite ones and will barely be seen anywhere else but those few favoured Trees. With no Sallow, muddy woodland tracks under Elm are perfect for mud puddlers...and thats about it. Yes, yes, they have many nectar sources in the Spring, however the others are all very random. A next gen of the species emerge into July sometimes earlier and with those a few summer breeders that can be found very rarely defending territory on Bramble patches on sunny corners of fields usually close to Elm. Once again emergent Comma are so secretive and I have had to wade neck high into the back of beyond to find them nectaring on Ragwort, Creeping Thistle and Spear Thistle in sheltered glades. So this one was found among another 6 feeding among Creeping Thistle and typically not found out in the open glade with the throngs of Peacocks and Red Admirals, but tucked away in a corner of the glade all in a little tight group. I spent several hours observing them and photographing them and to be honest it was a major highlight of my year. :)


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Re: Comma - Favourite Photo of 2017

Postby Allan.W. » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:31 pm

Posted two of my favourite Comma Shots I managed in 2017, the first was "mud puddling " in a filthy boggy area in deep shade and seemed quite content ! watched it for about fifteen minutes before it decided to move on,at Hothfield Common ,Kent mid July.
The second was an autumn individual from Orlestone forest ,Kent. late September.
Regards Allan.W.

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Re: Comma - Favourite Photo of 2017

Postby David M » Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:50 pm

Who doesn't love a Comma? They're one of the most entertaining UK species, intolerant of anything invading their air space.

Here's one of an overwinterer in Abergavenny on 26th March:


...and for contrats, a hutchinsonii from Loughor in late June:


This one from the National Botanic Gardens of Wales was probably my favourite upperside shot of 2017:


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Re: Comma - Favourite Photo of 2017

Postby Vince Massimo » Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:17 am

The Comma had a good year in my locality.

The first favourite image is of an individual which was seen at a local site on 22nd April. It caught my eye because it was in very good condition, considering that it had overwintered.

Comma - Crawley, Sussex 22-April-2017

The next image is of one of the larvae which developed from eggs laid in my garden. It is nearing a moult into its 5th instar, which would make it a first brood individual. (The first brood has 5 instars while the second brood has 4 instars).

IMG_3434-01G 4th.jpg
Comma larva (4th instar) - Crawley, Sussex 27-July-2017

The unusual thing is that the photo was taken on 27th July and the resulting adult emerged on 15th August. I was not aware that first brood butterflies could be emerging so late in the season, but without more data it is not known whether this large overlap with the second brood is normal or an anomaly.


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Re: Comma - Favourite Photo of 2017

Postby Neil Freeman » Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:52 pm

Commas seemed to have a good year all over and I certainly saw good numbers throughout the season at various places around the country during my travels.

First off, butterflies on spring blossom are always a favourite sight at the beginning of the season,

Bickenhill 25.03.2017 076 resize.JPG
Comma - Bickenhill 25.03.2017

A particularly pale hutchinsini female seen in my garden later in the summer

Coverdale 03.07.2017 006 resize.JPG
Comma - Coverdale 03.07.2017

A darker individual at Gait Barrows a month later,

Arnside 2017 799 resize.JPG
Comma - Gait Barrows 01.08.2017

Another month later and an underside shot taken in my garden,

Coverdale 09.2017  104 resize.JPG
Comma - Coverdale 02.09.2017

And finally a typical autumn sight on blackberries at a local spot,

Solihull 22.09.2017 048 resize.JPG



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Re: Comma - Favourite Photo of 2017

Postby millerd » Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:06 pm

Choosing one is almost impossible - I have taken photos of Commas on almost every walk locally since the first one in mid-February. They are the commonest butterfly around here, after the Red Admirals of course. :) However... Here is the first one of the year, a welcome and memorable sighting on 17th February.
Comma2 170217.JPG
Next is an egg, seen being laid on 25th March.
Comma egg 250317.JPG
The first of the hutchinsoni form appeared on 7th June.
Comma2 070617.JPG
Comma1 070617.JPG
These continued to appear over a long period, with fresh examples being seen well into August, like this one from the 10th.
Comma1 100817.JPG
These continued to be seen into September, by which time the hibernating brood were appearing in steady numbers. These started to be seen at the end of July (here's one from 21st of that month)
Comma3 210717.JPG
...and of course are still around now, though they should soon settle down for the winter. Here's one of the ones I saw yesterday - an unusually large example for the brood, most being smaller and darker than the summer ones.
Comma2 251017.JPG

A fascinating and entertaining species, with quite a bit of variety in the hutchinsoni brood, and on the wing here over a period in excess of eight months in 2017. Can't be bad for something, which as Mike mentions above, was once a rarity. :)


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Re: Comma - Favourite Photo of 2017

Postby Wurzel » Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:25 pm


This was taken in July and was easily my favourite Comma as it was taken on a blissful day out with my parents enjoying the relaxing Lavender fields and the sated feeling one has post cream tea. While ambling about, almost asleep on my feet this Comma presented itself on a fantastically coloured background and the way it brought the colours out on the Comma etched it firmly into my mind.

DSC_0635 - Copy.JPG

Have a goodun


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Re: Comma - Favourite Photo of 2017

Postby Matsukaze » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:47 pm

I cannot believe this is a comfortable resting posture! Larva on wych elm.


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