Status:    uncommon resident

Flights:  2-3, Jan-Dec

Distribution/known sites in Monterey County:  mainly in coastal forested canyons;  Soberanes Creek, Big Creek, Bottcher’s Gap, Carmel Valley Rd.

Habitats:  openings in forest, riparian woods, marshes, orchards

Host plants:  hoary or stinging nettle

Adult foodtree sap, rotting fruit, mud, rarely flower nectar

Conservation: secure globally


  1.   hibernating adult often flies on warm winter days

  2.   commonest comma on lowland pacific coast in MCO

  3.   often sits on ground, or head down on tree trunks with wings either spread or folded

  4.   seasonal forms not well studied

  5.   brighter orange UP, browner UN than other commas; 2 black spots UP FW inner margin; UP HW, black spot middle, pale margin


Satyr comma

Polygonia satyrus

Life history facts

egg: laid singly in stacks or in groups on the lower side of nettle leaves

larva: eats leaves, makes shelter by pulling down and fastening edges of leaf with silk


adult:  in late afternoon, males perch on tree trunks and low vegetation in woodland openings to watch for fems.; hibernates

big creek reserve