Fig 1
ADULT: Wingspan - 50 - 64mm.  The jagged edged wings with the coppery orange background and sooty brown markings make this butterfly instantly recognisable.  There is usually a smattering of pale orange spots towards the margins of both wings.  The smoky brown underwings bear a conspicuous white 'comma' that gives the species its name.  CHRYSALIS: 21mm.  Pinkish brown with gold and silver markings and suspended from a silk pad. LARVA: 34mm.  Greeny buff at first turning brown with white patches that provides excellent camouflage due to its likeness to a bird dropping.  Usually found on the underside of leaves.  At full size the caterpillar becomes spiny with a white dorsal patch and will venture to the upper surface of a leaf. (Link). EGG: Green with white ridges, oval and found on margins of nettles or elms.  Hatching time within 17 days. BEHAVIOUR: Males are extremely territorial and patrol and perch within their territory.  A strong flier of woodland rides the flight pattern is made of several quick wing beats followed by a brief glide.  Early mornings and late afternoons are good times to observe this species as it feeds on flowers, particularly buddleia. HABITAT: Hedgerows, woodland edges and clearings, gardens and rough hillsides. FLIGHT PERIOD: March - October in two broods.

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