Gray Comma

Polygonia progne

The Gray Comma and the Eastern Comma are both found throughout the state in open woodlands and along roadsides through wooded areas. The numbers and abundance of individuals of these species varies from year to year.

Weekly sightings for Gray Comma

Identifying characteristics

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. In the lighter, fall/spring form of the Gray Comma, there are usually only two noticeable dark spots.

Below, the silvery comma is very thin and is pointed at both ends.

Similar species

The Eastern Comma is very similar above. The Eastern Comma usually has a dark spot in the middle of the hindwing that is not present in the Gray Comma. The dot nearest the trailing edge of the upper wing is usually nonexistent in the Gray Comma, very faint in the Eastern Comma, and dark and obvious in the Green Comma and the Satyr Comma.

Habitat

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

Flight

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.

Abundance

Common throughout the state, but probably more common in the northern counties.

Late Gray Comma Sightings

Date County Reported by
Oct 6, 2007 Iowa Mike Reese
Oct 11, 2015 Iowa Joan Vennie
Oct 16, 2016 Grant Alex Harmon
Oct 25, 2015 Grant Alex Harmon
Nov 2, 2013 Trempealeau Scott Puchalski

Locations

Map showing sighting locations for Gray Comma
Map key
Gray CommaClick to enlarge

Tie Mill Rd., Florence Co., WI. July 6, 2006.

Gray CommaClick to enlarge

Northern Kettle Moraine State Park, Fond du Lac Co., WI. July 14, 2003.

Gray CommaClick to enlarge

Yellowstone S.P., Lafayette Co., WI. July 27, 2005.

Gray CommaClick to enlarge

Yellowstone S.P., Lafayette Co., WI. July 27, 2005.

Gray CommaClick to enlarge

Northern Kettle Moraine State Park, Fond du Lac Co., WI. July 14, 2003.