Comma. Polygonia c-album (Linnaeus, 1758)
Wingspan: From 3.5 to 5 cm.
Routes where it can be observed
Closed wings: Their design is rather complex, as there are varied brown and grey shades. There is a spot on the hindwing’s centre which stands out. It has a shape of a C on one of them and of an inverted C on the other. Actually, the species is named after these features. They have rather jagged outlines of the wings and a big arch on the forewings, as well as a prominent tail on the hindwings. There are bluish spots outlined in black on the margins, and on the inner part, a series of black dots surrounded by blue or grey.
Open wings: They are orange with plenty of large dark brown pots. Each hindwing has a wide brown stripe filled with yellowish spots.
The ragged wings, above all when they are closed, make this species difficult to be confused with any other.
Biology and Habitat
There are two or three generations a year, which hibernate as adult butterflies. It is rather rare in Málaga and its biology is not detailed enough. We only know when it has been observed on few occasions, and the habitats where it lives, such as well-preserved river banks with poplars (Populus nigra), small-leaved elms (Ulmus minor) and ash trees (Fraxinus angustifolia). Its caterpillars feed on nettles (Urtica spp.), hops (Humulus lupulus) and elm trees (Ulmus spp.).
Distribution in the Great Path
This is one of the rarest and the most limited species in Málaga. Up to recently, it was only linked to the Tejeda Mountains, where it has not been seen since the end of 1970s. In 2013, it was rediscovered in a new place in the province, more precisely, at Marín Stream in Archidona during an exhibition of the Alas [Wings] Association. Therefore, it can be seen on stage 12 of the GMP, although it is rare and lives at limited number of places. It may be part of some old populations on the routes that go through the Tejeda and Almijara Mountains (stages from 5 to 8), and those which stretch along Bebedero Stream (stages 14 and 15), the Turón and the Guadiaro Rivers and the Genal basin (stages 23, 25, 27, and 28).