Butterflies at Home

Eastern Comma Butterfly

Eastern Comma Butterfly Coloration, Characteristics and Size

The Eastern Comma (Polygonia comma) is found through most of the Eastern United States, into northeastern Texas, as well as southern Canada. It is also known as the "Hop Merchant" because of its love of hop leaves.

It is smaller than the similar Question Mark butterfly, and is characterized by the silver "comma" on its hind wings, which mimic the characteristics of tree bark. It is orange above, with dark brown patterns and markings.

The Eastern Comma is also similar in size and coloration to the Hoary Comma.

Its wingspan is in the 1.8" - 2.5" range.

Nectar and Host Plants Used by the Eastern Comma

Host plants include elm trees, false nettle, and hop vines.

A favorite nectar plant is the Butterfly Bush.

Eastern Comma Butterfly Life Cycle Stages and Times

Stage Typical Duration
Egg stage 4 to 14 days
Caterpillar (larval) stage 3 to 4 weeks
Chrysalis (pupal) stage 7 to 18 days
Adult butterfly stage 6 to 20 days


Photos of Eastern Comma Butterflies

Eastern Comma Butterfly ... dorsal view
Eastern Comma Butterfly ... wings open

Eastern Comma Butterfly ... ventral view, showing its namesake silver "Comma"
Eastern Comma Butterfly ... wings closed
By Kaldari (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A family relative of the Eastern Comma ... the Hoary Comma Butterfly
Hoary Comma Butterfly

Comparison of the Eastern Comma butterfly and the Question Mark butterfly