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The Compton Tortoiseshell or False Comma, is a holarctic butterfly in the family Nymphalidae. In the Old World, it ranges from Eastern Europe across Russia to China, Korea and Japan. In the New World, it is found from Alaska and Labrador south to West Virginia and Utah (Gillham 1956, van Swaay et al. 2010). It inhabits deciduous or mixed forests. Larval foodplants include birches (Betula spp.), willows (Salix spp.), poplars (Populus spp.), and elms (Ulmus spp.) (van Swaay et al. 2010).
Several different scientific names have been in use for this species, including Nymphalis vaualbum, Nymphalis vau-album, Nymphalis l-album, Nymphalis j-album (for North American populations) (Gillham 1956, Guppy & Shepard 2001, Nylin et al. 2001, Wahlberg & Nylin 2003). Some authors have placed it in the genera Roddia or Polygonia (Korshunov & Gorbunov 1995, Korshunov 1996, Niculescu 1965).