Butterflies of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance

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Scientific Name begins with:
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Once on a species account page, clicking on the "View PDF" link will show the flight data for that species, for each of the three regions of the state.
Other information, such as high counts and earliest/latest dates, can also been seen on the PDF page.

Related Species in HESPERIIDAE:
<<       >>
Common NameNorthern Cloudywing by Roger Rittmaster => Caswell Co.
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[Google Images]     BoA [Images ]
Scientific NameThorybes pylades
Link to BAMONA species account.
MapClick on a county for list of all database records for the species in that county.
DistributionDISTRIBUTION: Mainly just the mountains, Piedmont, sandhills portion of the Coastal Plain, and the southeastern Coastal Plain. No recent records at all from the central and northern Coastal Plain, despite considerable field work. Certainly, it should be found in most of the NC counties over time, but it simply seems to be absent from a great portion of the Coastal Plain now.
AbundanceABUNDANCE: Fairly common in the Piedmont and sandhills, but uncommon in the mountains and the southern Coastal Plain (away from the sandhills). Definitely very rare in most of the Coastal Plain, and possibly absent in a few northeastern Coastal Plain counties.
FlightFLIGHT PERIOD: Two broods, but the second is a partial or weak one. Downstate, the main brood is from mid-April (rarely from late March) to mid- or late June; a smaller brood is from early July to late August, rarely into September. In the mountains, the two flights fall between late April and late August, rarely beginning by early April. Most unusual, and coincidental as well, were single photographic reports from the Sandhills region and from the eastern Piedmont of record late individuals on October 5 (2017).
HabitatHABITAT: The habitat appears identical to that of the Southern Cloudywing -- dry to mesic sites in partial sun, such as woodland borders, powerline clearings, old fields, glades, pine/scrub oak sandhills, etc. It prefers dry places, as does the Southern.
See also Habitat Account for General Leguminous Forb and Shrublands
PlantsFOOD AND NECTAR PLANTS: Foodplants are similar to those of the Southern Cloudywing, being various herbaceous legumes (Fabaceae). The adults nectar at many flowers.
CommentsCOMMENTS: Field guides and references show both of these cloudywings with ranges that include nearly all of the eastern United States. However, a review of the distribution data for NC give noticeable results. The Southern is most common in the eastern half of NC and is not numerous in the western half. The Northern occurs mainly in the mountains and Piedmont. The Northern is somewhat less numerous in NC than is the Southern.


State RankS5
State Status
Global RankG5
Federal Status
SynonymCecropterus pylades
Other Name


Links to other butterfly galleries: [Cook] [Lynch] [Pippen] [Pugh]
Photo by: Lori Arent
Comment: 2020-08-10. Granville Co.
Northern Cloudywing - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Sven Halling
Comment: June 10, 2014, Pilot Mountain State Park, Surry Co.
Northern Cloudywing - Click to enlarge
Photo by: Sven Halling
Comment: May 11, 2012, Pilot Mountain State Park, Surry County
Northern Cloudywing - Click to enlarge