Enigmatic Thorybes - Cumberland County , NJ - 5/11/02
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Enigmatic Thorybes: This fresh Thorybes (Cloudywing) is one of the enigmas that cause confusion with the aptly name Thorybes confusis (Confused Cloudywing) that can't be reliably identified in the field. This individual would even be extreme for T. confusis in that it has no markings at all in the wings except the spot bands on the leading edge of the forewing. In addition, I could not see a "white patch" at the base of the bend of the antennae either in the field or in the pictures. This is said to be lacking in T. confusis and Thorybes pylades (Northern Cloudywing), and present in Thorybes bathyllus (Southern Cloudywing). The warm brown coloration appears closer to T. bathyllus or confusis, and not the duller brown of T. pylades. I could not determine the color of the palps, but they certainly weren't bright white, but "whitish". The habitat was dry and sandy, said to be the preference of T. confusis.

The Clincher? : Klots (1951) states the T. confusis males lack the costal fold on the forewing that is present in T. bathyllus and pylades. If this is correct, I think that I can clearly see a costal fold in the dorsal picture (arrow), indicating that this is a male, and eliminating the possibility of this being T. confusis. Since it lacked the white patch at the bend in the antennae, T. pylades would seem to be indicated as the species in the picture. The warm bright color still bothers me for this species, but it is very fresh. I think it is best to leave it at Thorybes sp.