NORTHERN CLOUDYWING, COMMON SOOTYWING, AND HAYHURST'S SCALLOPWING

This is a Common Sootywing, resting on a blade of grass. This species is smaller than the Northern Cloudywing, and note the distinctive white spots on its head. Common Sootywings fly from May through August.

Northern Cloudywing butterfly on a clover blossom, one of its favorite nectar plants.

Northern Cloudywing butterfly. There is a large population of Northern Cloudywings at Sugarcreek Reserve in Bellbrook, and I have also seen this species at Twin Creek MetroPark. They fly from late May through early July.

I have found Common Sootywings in several locations, including Huffman Prairie, Cedar Bog, Germantown Dam, Caesar Creek, and along the Great Miami River. They seem to prefer wet meadow habitats. This species is not especially common, and I usually see solitary individuals.

Hayhurst's Scallopwings are very uncommon butterflies. They have alternating light and dark bands on their wings, and a scalloped wing fringe (tattered, in this individual). The butterfly at left is my one and only sighting of a Hayhurst's Scallopwing. I found him at Germantown MetroPark on August 13, 2017. I was photographing some Blue-faced Meadowhawks at the time, and I almost ignored this little butterfly because I assumed he was just a duskywing. I'm glad I took a closer look!

The size and number of white spots on their wings is variable. I always look for the white spots on the head to confirm a Common Sootywing ID.