DOI link for Butterfly Lessons
Butterfly Lessons book
Polygonia c-album, generally known as the comma butterfly, spends most of its life pretending to be something else. In its larval, or caterpillar stage, it has a chalky stripe down its back which makes it look uncannily like a bird dropping. As an adult, with wings folded, it is practically indistinguishable from a dead leaf. The comma gets its name from a tiny white mark shaped like the letter “c” on its underside. Even this is thought to be part of its camouflage-an ersatz rip of the sort that leaves get when they are particularly old and tatty.