The Northern Cloudywing butterfly is seen from Nova Scotia west across Canada, south into California, and across the rest of the United States. The upperside of the wings is dark brown with a median row of misaligned glassy white spots on the forewing and with about three squarish white spots aligned in the subapical area.  These spots are typically smaller than Southern Cloudywing. The forewing fringe is checkered. The upper hindwings are brown except for the whitish marginal fringe. The distinguishing characteristic of the Northern Cloudywing is the brown face and no white around the eyes.


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Northern Cloudywing Facts

Butterfly Family: Skipper (Hesperiidae)

Butterfly Subfamily: Pyrginae

Butterfly Wingspan: 1 1/4 – 1 7/8 inches

Butterfly Habitat: Open or scrubby boreal woodland and forest edges


Northern Cloudywing Host and Nectar Plants

Host Plants:

  • Various plants in the Fabaceae family
    • Bush Clover
    • Lotus
    • Hog Peanut
    • Groundnut
    • Spurred Butterfly Pea
    • Milk Vetch
    • Hairy Lespedezas
  • Red Clover
  • White Clover
  • Beggar’s Tick

Nectar Plants:

  • Nectar from various flowers
    • Dogbane
    • Common Milkweed
    • Thistles
    • Hoary Vervain
    • Red Clover
    • Whorled Coreopsis
    • Sweet William
    • Fleabane
    • Downy Wood Mint