Distractive marks have been suggested to prevent predator detection or recognition of a prey, by drawing the attention away from recognizable traits of the bearer. The white “comma” on the wings of comma butterflies (Polygonia c-album) has been suggested to represent such a distractive mark. In a laboratory experiment using blue tits as predators, we show that the comma on female butterflies effect their survival, since the blue tits attacked butterflies with over-painted commas more often than sham-painted butterflies with intact commas. There was no such effect with respect to male butterflies. Interestingly, the comma contrasts more against the uniformly brown ventral wing surface on females, than on the more variegated coloration of males. Hence, the comma can function as a distractive marking, at least when perceived against a uniformly coloured wing. In a field experiment we placed hibernating, similarly manipulated, comma butterflies on tree trunks of two different species and noted their survival. Although survival was higher on birch than on oak trees, there was no effect of our treatment, likely as a result of butterflies being preyed on by both diurnal and nocturnal predators, the latter of whom are unlikely to pay attention to distractive marks.