Polygonia c-album (Gehakkelde aurelia (BE) / Comma (EN) / C-Falter (DE) / Robert-le-diable (FR) ) is a species of butterfly in the Nymphalidae family. It has a white marking on its underwings in the form of a "c" resembling a comma ("c-album" in the scientific name.) on a close look it can be seen in the middle of the backwing in the image. The wings have a distinctive ragged edge, apparently a cryptic form as the butterfly resembles a fallen leaf ("Polygonia" in the scientific name: "polus" = many ; "gonia" = angle). Forewings are between 20 and 26 mm. This species can survive the winter in the adult stage, and adults are of two forms. The form that overwinters before reproducing has dark undersides of the wings, whereas the form that develops directly to sexual maturation has lighter colored wing undersides. The latter one can be seen in this image. Both forms can arise from eggs laid by the same female, depending mainly on the photoperiods experienced by the larvae, but also with an influence of host plants, temperature and sex of individuals. Research on this subject is still going on to get a full explannation.
Image: Deurne (BE) - 22/08/2010
© Johan Dierckx
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