Polygonia egea (Nymphalis egea)
Distribution: SE France, Italy, Balkans, Greece. It appears to have
become very rare in France.
Identification: This species and the Comma,
P. c-album, are distinctive. They have highly
scalloped wings, looking like a dead leaf with wings closed. The uppersides are
rich orange brown with darker brown spots. To separate these two species, please
refer to the pages for the Comma, P.
c-album. The Southern Comma is generally paler and brighter with fewer
and smaller black marking on the upperside.
Flight time: Flies throughout the summer in 2 or 3 generations.
Hibernates as an adult, emerging in early spring.
Habitat: Cliffs or rocky places, often with open woodland or scrub
nearby. Equally frequently (or infrequently!) encountered in villages.
Behaviour: Loves resting on rock faces or walls where it basks in
bright sunshine. I have the impression it generally basks with head facing
downwards. Also loves nectar rich flowers such as Red Valerian or Dwarf Alder.
Additional notes: I've not seen this butterfly so many times but it is
often a pleasant surprise in villages in hilly areas where it frequents flowers,
such as Red Valerian, along walls and roadsides.