Polygonia egea - photo © K. Bormpoudaki

Polygonia egea, Crete - photo © K. Bormpoudaki

Polygonia egea


Polygonia egea is a butterfly of the family Nymphalidae on the island of Crete, Greece.

Scientific name

Nymphalis (Polygonia) egea (Cramer, 1775)

Common name

Southern Comma


Family: Nymphalidae > Subfamily: Nymphalinae > Tribus: Nymphalini > Genus: Polygonia


Male to female: 45-50 mm


Both sexes are similar; they appear slight differences in the color shades. The wings are strongly dentate and narrow, and the underside is thinly marmorated and penciled.

On the forewing, the upperside is light-brown colored with small dark markings in the cell. The underside is also light brown with grey shades.

On the hindwing, both sides are similar to the forewing, but on the underside, there is an additional white mark resembling the letter “L" at the end of the cell.


It has a characteristic quick flight and rests very often with open wings on the ground, on walls, etc. Males are territorial and adopt perching positions on walls, rocks, etc.


Polygonia egea in Crete lives mainly in fields in lowland, near the seaside, riverbanks, and lakes, and rocky slopes.

Food plant

The larva feeds on Urticaceae plants.

Flight Period

The butterflies fly in 2 generations per year.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

The Southern Comma has a unique appearance in Crete and can’t be confused with any other butterflies of the island.


Least Concern (LC)

(*European Red List of Butterflies, 2010)

Polygonia Egea Distribution Map

*based on http://www.pamperis.gr/THE_BUTTERFLIES_OF_GREECE/MAPS.html

Polygonia egea location map based on greek butterflies distributions map by L.N. Pamperis (revised 2021)