Gray Comma, Polygonia progne

Gray Comma

Polygonia progne

Above, the wings are orange with black margins and black dots, and a row of lighter spots in the margin of the hindwing. The dot nearest the trailing edge of the upper wing usually does not have any faint spot above it. Like the Eastern Comma, the Gray Comma has two seasonal forms, with the summer form being much darker on the hindwing. Below, the silvery comma is very thin and is pointed at both ends.

Open woodlands, woodland edges, and along roadsides and trails through wooded areas.

Overwintering Strategy:   Adult Butterfly

Two broods. The Gray Comma over winters as an adult, breeds and has a new generation in June and early July, and then has a second generation in August and September that over winters.

Caterpillar Host Plants:
American Black Currant (Ribes americanum), Skunk Currant (Ribes glandulosum), Canadian Black Currant (Ribes hudsonianum), Bristly Black Currant (Ribes lacustre), Swamp Red Currant (Ribes triste), Prickly Wild Gooseberry (Ribes cynosbati), Hairy Stem Gooseberry (Ribes hirtellum), Missouri Gooseberry (Ribes missouriense), and Canadian Gooseberry (Ribes oxyacanthoides)

The Gray Comma and the Eastern Comma are both found throughout the state in open woodlands and along roadsides through wooded areas.

Overwintering Strategy

Two-way migration: Adult migrates from Wisconsin to Central Mexico
Small migration: Adult migrates from Wisconsin to southern US
Immigrant: Adult migrates into Wisconsin from warmer areas and don't fly south in winter
Adult Butterfly: Hibernates overwinter as an adult butterfly
Eggs: Eggs laid on stems, twigs or foot plants overwinter in diapause
Caterpillar: Caterpillars make nests on the base of plants and hibernate until spring
Chrysalis: Caterpillars shed their last skin, form a chrysalis and enter diapause.

For more information, read: Where Do Butterflies Go In Winter?

Further Information:   

 Design A Butterfly Garden
 Take The Butterfly Quiz
 Monarch Life Cycle
 Butterflies and Moths of North America
 Southern Wisconsin Butterfly Assn (NABA)
 The Butterfly Site

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