Alabama Butterfly Atlas

Butterfly: Wingspan: 1½ - 2 inches (3.8 - 4.8 cm). This butterfly is confused with the Northern Cloudywing (Thorybes pylades) and the Southern Cloudywing (Thorybes bathyllus). This is why it was given the name "Confused Cloudywing." It has the brown wing colorations and the white spots of the Northern and Southern cloudywings. However, on the upperside of the forewing, the tiny white spot nearest the body is drawn out into a thin line. The face is pale and does not have any white on the antennae. Many biologists refuse to identify this species in the field, but rather collect it and closely examine it for its distinguishing characters.

Egg: Light green.  Laid singly.

Caterpillar: Pale brown body. Larvae eat leaves and live in a shelter of leaves that they tie together with sik. Final instar caterpillars overwinter.


Confused Cloudywings often fly with Southern and Northern Cloudywings, presenting an identification nightmare. Perhaps this species seems rare in Alabama because it is difficult to identify with certainity and may be confused with these simliar cloudywings. Few life history observations have been documented.

Confused Cloudywing is a rather wide-ranging species found from central Florida northward along the Atlantic coastal plain to southeastern Pennsylvanis and west to Missouri, south to Texas and eastward across the Gulf coastal states.

Distribution and Abundance

A dot on the county map indicates that there is at least one documented record of the species within that county. In some cases, a species may be common throughout the county, in others it may be found in only a specific habitat. The High Count information shows the highest numbers recorded for this species as well as when and where they occurred.

The sightings bar graphs depict the timing of flight(s) within each of three geographic regions. Place your cursor on a bar within the graph to see the number of individuals recorded during that period.

The abundance calendar displays the total number of individuals recorded within each week of the month. Both the graphs and the calendar are on based data collection that began in 2000.

The records analyzed here are only a beginning. As more data is collected, these maps and graphs will paint a more accurate picture of distribution and abundance in Alabama. Submit your sightings to

Sightings in the following counties: Baldwin, Bibb, Chilton, Clay, Cleburne, Colbert, Coosa, Dallas, Hale, Jefferson, Lamar, Perry, Shelby, Sumter, Tallapoosa, Washington

  • Map Symbol for Recent Sightings Sightings in the past 5 years
  • Map Symbol for Semi-Recent Sightings Sightings in the past 5 - 10 years
  • Map Symbol for Old Sightings Sightings more than 10 years ago

High count(s):

  • 5 - Cleburne - 7/16/2020
  • 4 - Bibb - 7/10/2016
  • 3 - Bibb - 7/20/2014
County Distribution Map

View county names by moving the mouse over a county or view a map with county names

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1 2 2 3 1 5 1 3 3 3 3 10 15 6 6 4 2


 Confused Cloudywings are usually seen in clearings and roadsides near wetland areas. They are often seen puddling along dirt roads.

Confused Cloudywing
Confused Cloudywing (Thorybes confusis)
© Sara Bright
Road along swamp edge
Confused Cloudywing
Confused Cloudywing (Thorybes confusis)
© Sara Bright
Swampy clearing

Host and Nectar Plants

In Alabama, host plants have not yet been documented.

 Lespedezas (Lespedeza spp.) are reported as well as Florida Hoarypea (Tephrosia florida).


Landscaping Ideas

No gardening tips are available for this poorly-known species.